The 2010 volleyball season tips off today, Tuesday, Aug. 24, when the Lady Longhorns host the Holbrook Roadrunners in Wilson Dome. Varsity game time is 6:30 p.m.
The team scrimmaged Aug. 19 vs. Florence in Wilson Dome, but no official score was kept and individual statistics were not compiled or included in season stats.
Although the Runners and Payson compete in different regions — PHS in the East and Holbrook in the North — the two teams have built a rivalry over the years. PHS coach Arnold Stonebrink is expecting a barnburner this evening, partly because the Runners are accustomed to playing in the rugged North.
Stonebrink will counter Holbrook with a crew of seven seasoned returners including Rachel DeFelice, Katelyn Curtis, Rylee Halenar, Kelsey Waugh, Cami Barnett and Trinity England.
The Lady Horns also have three newcomers — Kayla Woolwine, Kaitlyn Wessel and Megan Wessel — who could see playing time tonight.
In preseason practices, the coach has lauded the players as multi-talented athletes with no glaring weaknesses.
He has also said the team appears to be strong at all positions, which is an improvement over past years when the Lady Longhorns had weak spots they were forced to cover.
The coach says he is hoping that the girls can use tonight’s game to tune up both their passing and digging in order to run their offense and defense more efficiently.
Also on the Lady Horn agenda is the annual Payson Invitational to be played Sept. 3 and 4 in Wilson Dome and the old gymnasium.
“It features a lot of really strong teams,” Stonebrink said.
Tonight’s game will be preceded by freshmen at 4:30 p.m. and junior varsity at 5:30 p.m. clashes.