The ink had hardly dried on the Grapevine volleyball roster before the team launched into its first scrimmages with hopes of being ready for the start of the season this week.
Tuesday is the start to the season, and the Lady Mustangs are hosting South Grand Prairie before loading the bus and traveling to the first tournament of the season in Pearland this weekend.
The 2017 Adidas John Turner Classic in Pearland, running Thursday-Saturday, will give Grapevine a fast check of where it stands early in the year.
Already scheduled at the tournament, Grapevine will face Coram Deo Academy, Foster and League City’s Clear Creek.
The match with Clear Creek could be a barometer for how the Lady Mustangs are poised before the district schedule begins on Sept. 8. Clear Creek lost to Hebron in last year’s state finals and traditionally has a top program.
There’s no rest for the weary after the tournament as the team will gear up again for a match on Aug. 14 at Red Oak.
Then the Lady Mustangs can exhale, head coach Whitney Woody said.
“We decided to drop the middle tournament on schedule,” Woody said. “It was just too much playing. We will have through Friday to do some teambuilding and then have our alumni game on [August] 19th.”
The alumni game pulls players from back to the 1980s, Woody said.
Another key measuring stick game is just on the other sides of the alumni game, as Grapevine will then face an old rival at Southlake Carroll on Aug. 22.
“We’ll play Carroll the first Tuesday after the start of school and we’ll see where we are with this team,” Woody said. “They have a great reputation and a great team year after year. “
But those key matchups are not really on the players’ radar just yet.
“They focus on every match. The biggest opponent to the team is South Grand Prairie. I’m proud of them for not looking ahead too far. Their focus is on what’s next,” Woody said.
Woody also noted that the team is more in synch going into the second year with her at the helm of the program.
“They feel more comfortable with me and the main difference from last year is that relationships are built, which can help,” she said.