XCEL

Barbers Hill’s Britney Roper blasts a kill during her team’s quarterfinal win Thursday against La Porte during summer league tournament action.

It may be summer, but any type of win is a good one.

That is where Barbers Hill volleyball stands today after coming out on top of the Xcel Volleyball Tournament which came as a culmination after three previous weeks of league play.

Thursday night at Barbers Hill Middle South, the Lady Eagles rolled to three wins, wrapping with a 2-0 victory over Cleveland Tarkington to capture the tournament title.

Barbers Hill beat La Porte in the quarterfinals in two sets and held off Galena Park North Shore in the semifinals before wrapping things up in the title match.

“Even though we only had seven people, we were very successful when we ran the middle,” Barbers Hill head coach Kristin Goodman said. “Our block looks better than it did in week one.

We still need improvement on serve receive though.”

Despite coming out on top of a strong field of opposition, the Lady Eagles aren’t satisfied as they move toward the beginning of the regular season on Aug. 1.

“We need to establish consistency in every part of the game,” Goodman said. “We are way too up and down, and that is understandable during summer league because we have had a different line up each week due to people missing. We are still looking at who is going to be our two outside hitters. We have some great athletes to decide from though.”

Sterling wrapped a positive showing in the tournament by taking third place as it wrapped with a win over North Shore after a tense, 2-1 defeat against Tarkington in the semifinals, dropping the final set by two points.

It started the playoffs with a sweep of Port Neches-Groves.

“We played well and showed a lot of heart,” Sterling head coach Candace Southall said. “We didn’t shut down when we made errors and we stayed encouraged. I’ve definitely seen improvements in the team camaraderie and just playing next to different teammates. 

“Our team fought to the end. I was extremely proud of them for playing hard and staying upbeat emotionally. That definitely helped us through any moments when we got scored on. I’m looking forward to this season.”

Goose Creek Memorial entered the field with two teams but ended up having to combine forces for the playoffs with many absences.

They were defeated by Port Neches-Groves in the first round.

“I thought both teams competed well this league,” GCM head coach Casey Veen said. “I think they gained a lot of good reps and played in different positions than they normally would, which in my opinion makes them a better volleyball player all around. 

“We have some work to do in July, but I feel like the girls are hungry for a great run this season. We need to get our defense more refined and continue developing our volleyball IQ.”

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