Football wasn’t the only fall sport that got the go-ahead from the University Interscholastic League (UIL) this past week. Volleyball also got the green light. However, the El Campo Ladybirds will endure more changes then their football counterparts will have to deal with in the incoming season.
Like in football, 5A and 6A schools will be moved back one month, eliminating the Ladybirds’ competition against bigger schools to ready them for the season. Volleyball also will not allow tournaments, a measure by the UIL to try and limit the number of athletes sharing the same space.
“Unfortunately no tournaments, but we are able to get more games in,” Ladybirds first-year head coach Kelsey Johns said. “That’s what I think will benefit us.”
In-lieu of tournaments, the UIL has allowed volleyball to have three games a week for the first two weeks of the season.
After getting the news of the changes Johns spent six hours re-working the schedule to get the Ladybirds enough competition to ready them for district play.
While the Ladybirds this season won’t play any larger classifications, they will play some of the best smaller schools in the state including Industrial who won the 3A state tournament last season and East Bernard who made the 3A regional finals. The Ladybirds will also play Needville, a former district foe.
Another change the UIL made to the volleyball schedule is they’ve moved the playoffs from starting Nov. 4 to Oct. 27. Currently, the Ladybirds are scheduled to play their final district game on Oct. 27. Once the district executive committee meets, district play will likely change to fit in all games.
While the Ladybirds have scrimmages and games scheduled in early August, the UIL has not given out guidance on if, or how many, fans will be allowed to attend.
The Ladybirds have a final week of strength and conditioning. Starting Aug. 3 volleyball will start their two-a-days which will last the whole week.
“They all said Coach Johns ‘We’re ready for August 3,’ so I’m as ready as they are,” Johns said.
Non-district: 8-7 Ladybird red/white scrimmage, 8-8 (road) Hallettsville scrimmage, 8-11 (home) Columbus, 8-14 (road) East Bernard, 8-15 (home) Calhoun, 8-18 (road) Needville, 8-21 (road) Sweeny, 8-25 (home) Edna, 8-28 (home) Bay City, 9-1 (home) Industrial, 9-4 (road) Tidehaven and 9-8 (home) Brazos
Tentative district schedule: 9-22 (home), 9-25 (home) Royal, 9-29 (road) Bellville, 10-2 (home) Wharton, 10-6 (road) Sealy, 10-13 (road) Navasota, 10-16 (road) Royal, 10-20 (home) Bellville, 10-23 (road) Wharton and 10-27 (home) Sealy.