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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, August 5, 2003

Volleyball scoring rules undergo major changes

It won't quite be a whole new game this season, but high school volleyball in Texas will have a whole new look in 2003, and coaches and players will both have to adjust to the various rule changes, Pecos Eagles' coach Becky Granado said on Monday.

Pecos' first games of the 2003 season are two weeks from today, and changes in the scoring rules, serve rules and time-out rules could have major effects on how things go for the Eagles and their opponents.

"We're going to 'rally scoring,' which is best three-out-of-five," Granado said. In the past, volleyball matches have been best two-out-of-three in Texas high schools, with the win in each game going to first team to get to 15 points and get ahead by two or more points. Starting in two weeks, teams will have to take three games to win a match, with the team that gets to 25 points first and is ahead by two points getting the win.

Those changes would appear to guarantee far longer matches, but Granado said the other rules changes should actually shorten games this season.

"In 'rally scoring' all break (serves) count as points, and let serves will be OK to play," she said. In the past, a team could only score after breaking serve, which meant that two evenly matched teams could go for a full six-person rotation at times before either team would score a point.

Under the new rules, teams will get both a point and the ball if they break serve, and serves that tip the net while going across will remain in play. "It may take a while for the girls to get used to that," Granado said.

She added if both teams end up tied at 25-all, the teams will then play until 30 points, with the first team to get to that total earning the victory. "You only have to win by one point there," Granado said.

"When somebody gets to game or match point now you don't have to be serving to get it," Granado said. "I don't know how to adjust to it, I don't know how they're going to like it."

Coaches will also have to adapt to the new scoring rules and the change in the time-out rule. "We only have two time-outs now. It used to be if both teams got to 14 you would get an extra time-out. This year there will just be two time-outs and it will be a full minute. As far as coaching, you have to make sure you don't call your time-outs too early."

The new rules for Texas high school teams have already been in use for many years by New Mexico high school volleyball teams, though there could be some early-season exceptions. Granado said during tournament play, "we're more likely to go two-out-of-three in bracket play, but in the championship match game, that will probably be three-out-of-five."

Eagles seeking better setters for '03 season

Workouts began Monday for the Pecos Eagles' high school volleyball teams, and coach Becky Granado said most of the players she was expecting for the 2003 season did show up on schedule.

"We had a total of 41 girls. All the seniors showed up, but we still have three juniors missing," Granado said during Monday evening's workout. "I don't know if they don't have their physicals or if they're just not going to play."

"We've got good numbers, but we still have the same problem in that most of them come to two-a-days not ready physically, so we've got to take time to get them in shape with conditioning drills."

Granado will be faced with her other usual problem - a lack of height - but is hoping to put the hitters she does have at a little bit less disadvantage this season by getting them a few better sets to work with when the 2003 season gets underway two weeks from today in Alpine.

"I have two freshman up I'm going to work with, Cassandra (Terrazas) and Amalie (Herrera), and with Jessica (Flores) on setting," she said. "We haven't had a consistent setter for a while, so I'm going to try them and see what they can do. Right now, there's no guarantee they're going to stay on the varsity."

"We just need to work on our sets and our passing. If we can't do those two things then we'll have a tough time doing anything," Granado added.

Pecos reached the playoffs for the seventh straight season in 2002, and returns four of their hitters from a year ago, in seniors Stephanie Herrera, Leslie Rodriguez and Bre'Ann Windham, along with junior Danielle Garcia, and also will have junior Candace Regelman this season. The same group will also serve as the Eagles' middle and outside blockers.

"We're going to have some kids in positions they don't want to do, but they'll have to do what's best for the team," Granado said.

"I feel like back line is our strongest position, just because Mari (Mendoza) and Maritza (Sandoval) are so quick and have experience from last year," Granado said.

The Eagles will hold two preseason scrimmages, at home on Aug. 15 and in Monahans the following day. Their 2003 season opens on Aug. 19 with matches in Alpine against the Bucks and Van Horn Eagles.

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