Rotary Golf 2024

Plano East trio preps for season, college careers

by | Aug 11, 2017 | Latest, Sports

By Greg Ford
Sports Editor
[email protected]

PLANO — Big things are expected of the Lady Panthers in 2017; making the playoffs is among their goals.

In order to get there, it’ll take an entire team effort to pull out enough District 6-6A victories to make that a reality. However, all teams have their cogs, without whom a squad’s engine could not function.

At the moment, three vital gears in the Lady Panthers’ motor are senior Kirby Smith (5-11), an outside hitter, junior Nicole Anderson (6-1), another outside hitter and Lauren Dooley (6-6), a senior middle blocker.

Their respective talents didn’t go unnoticed at the college ranks, including Div. I. Now, as they Lady Panthers prepare to enter the 2017 campaign, Smith, Anderson and Dooley will prepare to lead the black and gold back to the postseason, while at the same time getting ready for the next step in their volleyball careers.

For Smith, that’ll take place at the University of Texas-San Antonio, while Dooley will attend the University of Florida. As for Anderson, who still has another year at PESH after this one, her next scheduled stop is Boston College.

“I felt that playing in college is something that I always wanted to do, and with having schools looking at me, having a couple of offers before (UTSA), I felt UTSA was a good fit for me,” Smith said.

This season, she and Anderson will provide much of East’s offense, as it’ll be their job to power the ball past the opposition’s defensive flanks.

“Kirby and Nicole are both our primary outside hitters. The ball goes through them a lot, and I expect them to play very well. They should be two of the better outside (hitters) in our district,” head coach Scott Sandel said.

Anderson decided that the birthplace of the American Revolution would be her stop after falling in love with the city of Boston, and also the school, noting “it’s where I needed to be.”

Also, making an early decision also will help her focus.

“It makes everything easier. Now, I’m playing for fun more than stressing out about who is watching, (where) having a bad game could cost me,” Anderson said.

The junior also anticipates a big year for PESH following last season’s strong finish that produced a 7-7 district record.

“I feel like we are definitely in the right mindset to make it to the playoffs, and have the want to go deep in the playoffs,” Smith added

How far likely will depend on Dooley, who has the size, well over six feet, but who has learned on the job, but has shown improvement from season to season.

“Any time you have somebody that size, and she is really involved in the offense, then it’s going to open up everything for everybody else,” Sandel said. “She’s grown immensely. When she first came here she didn’t know the sport that well, but she had the size. Each year she has gotten better, and this is the year I really look for her to come out (and play well).”

Her progression and size caught the Lady Gators’ eyes, and after visiting the Gainesville campus, Dooley decided it was there she next wanted to play.

“I just really liked the program, the girls, the team and the coaches,” she said.

Like her teammates, Dooley also feels relieved to have made the decision, noting that she’s not “worried about who is watching,” and can focus on improving her hitting and blocking percentages.

The trio, plus the rest of their teammates, will face their first major test at this weekend’s Pearland Tournament, which traditionally fields some of Texas’ best prep teams.

“We’re going in there seeded 30th. I think we’re much better than that, so we’ll see how it goes,” Sandel said.

Photos online

0 Comments

Public Notice - Subscribe

Related News

Run For Our Heroes is April 27

Run For Our Heroes is April 27

An annual spring free event that honors and supports local veterans and first responders is back for the 13th year. Opening ceremonies for this year’s 1LT Robert F. Welch III Run For Our Heroes begins at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 27 at Olde City Park downtown. The...

read more
Mosque gets permits but must repair road

Mosque gets permits but must repair road

The Islamic Association of Murphy (IAM) has won approval to build a mosque on the northeast corner of North Murphy Road and McMillen Road, adjacent to homes in Oasis Springs Manors.  Now the city wants them to pay for fixing the street. IAM President Syed Osman...

read more
‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’

‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’

There’s really no need to keep your eclipse viewing glasses. The next total eclipse for Collin County won’t occur until 2317. But Monday, April 8, 2024, will remain in the memory of the millions of Texans who went outside for the celestial spectacle. “This is an...

read more
Blurry Paige kicks off Sounds at Sundown series

Blurry Paige kicks off Sounds at Sundown series

Murphy music lovers will have a choice of four listening options in this summer’s Sounds at Sundown concert series in Central Park. The performances will start at 8 p.m. every Friday night in June. The first free concert on June 7 is Blurry Paige, an alt-pop artist...

read more
PESH takes home district crown 

PESH takes home district crown 

The Plano East boys track team won the District 6-6A title at Marauder Stadium on Thursday, April 4. The Panthers edged out Coppell by a score of 129-113, with Marcus placing third (108 points) (Courtesy Photo) The Plano East track teams had quite the showing at the...

read more
Readers’ Choice Awards – 2024

Readers’ Choice Awards – 2024

After months of hard work — voting, reviewing ballots and tallying results — the Best of 2024 results are in!  This special section is one of my favorites because it is a celebration of local businesses and individuals who have been recognized by citizens for the...

read more
Council approves mosque construction

Council approves mosque construction

The Islamic Association of Murphy (IAM) has won approval of an amended site plan, amended landscape plan and construction plat for the IAM Masjid (Arabic for mosque) to be located at the intersection of North Murphy Road and McMillen Road.However, IAM President Syed...

read more
Watch party planned

Watch party planned

While most Collin County residents will be looking skyward on April 8, school officials and local authorities are keeping their attention back on the ground. “Any student absences due to being checked out from school to watch the eclipse will be considered unexcused,”...

read more
Fine arts, CTE directors update WISD trustees

Fine arts, CTE directors update WISD trustees

Executive Director of Fine Arts Glenn Lambert presented what he called a “State of the Arts” in Wylie ISD last week to the Wylie ISD board of trustees. Five years ago, an initiative to add extracurricular activities, evaluate instructors and programs, facilities and...

read more
Easterpalooza draws huge crowd to Central Park

Easterpalooza draws huge crowd to Central Park

Ten thousand brightly colored plastic eggs were scattered across six soccer fields as if a psychedelic hailstorm had just passed. Then, under the gaze of a seven-foot white Easter bunny, hundreds of kids scrambled to fill their baskets, bags and buckets with as many...

read more
Public Notice - Subscribe