By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS – It’s a new day in the world of East Texas volleyball. The teams have been playing matches since the end of August against a variety of teams in both tournament play and individual match play. Now, as we hit the midpoint in September, the competition is about to ratchet up as district play begins.

Starting at the Class 4A level, the Palestine LadyCats are much improved this year and head into District 18-4A play with a record of 10-16. The LadyCats have alternated wins and losses so far this month and open up at home against the Mexia Lady Black Cats.

At the Class 3A level, the top ranked Leon Lady Cougars have left no doubt during the early part of the season that they are the best team in Class 3A. The Lady Cougars opened district play on Sept. 9 with a record of 30-0 and show no signs of slowing down in their first three league matches.

Unfortunately for area volleyball fans, two of those three matches were against Westwood and Elkhart and the Lady Cougars did not even come close to losing a set. The Lady Panthers have started off district play with a record of 1-1. After losing to Leon, the Lady Panthers turned around and beat the Buffalo Lady Bison. Their next district contest was Tuesday against the Malakoff Lady Tigers, but as of press time the score was unavailable.

The Lady Elks opened district play against the Teague Lady Lions and lost in straight sets on Sept.  13 and then fell to Leon on Friday, sept. 16.  The Lady Elks (0-2) were back in action against the Frankston Lady Indians on Tuesday, but as of press time the score was unavailable.

The Lady Indians have opened district play at 0-2 following losses to Malakoff and Teague.

In District 21-3A, the Crockett Lady Bulldogs opened district play against the Hempstead Lady Bobcats and lost in four sets. The Trinity Lady Tigers have started off the district season 0-2 after falling to New Waverly in five sets and Coldspring Oakhurst in four. Crockett hosted Trinity on Tuesday but as of press time the scores were not yet available.

At the 2A level, much like their neighbors to the north, a reigning state champion (Iola) resides in District 22-2A along with Grapeland, Kennard, Latexo and Lovelady. Iola is 3-0 in district play through Tuesday, Sept. 20. North Zulch and Grapeland are tied for third at 2-1. Latexo and Lovelady are both 1-2. Grapeland hosted Latexo on Tuesday, Sept. 20 but as of press time the scores were not available.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.