Ne Tania Livingston (6) brings the hammer against a pair of Paetow blockers, with libero D Ettra Johnson (10), Zemarah Lott (17) and Daija Perkins (12) in on the play. The Cy-Park Tiger volleyball teams battles Katy Paetow in a three-game loss Tuesday (Aug. 14, 2018). Cy-Park stands at 1-9 in its first varsity season. (Cypress News Review photo by Creighton Holub)

KATY — The Cy-Park Tigers fell to the Paetow Panthers in three matches, Tuesday night (Aug. 14, 2018) in Katy.
The Panthers outscored the new Cypress team, 25-13, 25-22, 25-12.
The Tigers amassed 19 kills, three aces, one block, 27 digs, 14 sets and received 54 serves, in the three-game effort.
Cy-Park currently stands at 1-9 in pre-district play. However, for a school in its first year of varsity-level participation, the Tigers are still in the uphill climb of the learning curve.
“Right now, the path we’re taking is uphill progression: every game is feeding off of every game,” said head volleyball coach Pam McRae. “We always want to have a win in our sights — that’s always the goal — but with us being in our first year of varsity, and lacking senior leadership, we want to improve on our skills.”
And her Tiger team got the repetitions in for overall improvement. Instead of focusing on just a handful of key players, McRae put almost every player in during each of the three games. Like their sister CFISD school, CFISD HS #12, that is also sporting its first varsity squads, the biggest hurdle to overcome is the speed of varsity action.

Kaylyn Verdun (6) and Daija Perkins (12) block a Paetow attack. The Cy-Park Tiger volleyball teams battles Katy Paetow in a three-game loss Tuesday (Aug. 14, 2018). Cy-Park stands at 1-9 in its first varsity season. (Cypress News Review photo by Creighton Holub)

“When the speed comes into play, it’s: are the kids reading the ball soon enough to get to the position they need to be, and how fast the ball is coming over the net,” McRae added. “That comes with experience, and how we run drills at practice. We as coaches have to run the drills faster. It’s constantly ‘Get up! Get up! Go! Move!’ until they get used to how fast it’s going.”
With only a handful of club volleyball players in her program, the head coach said that she’s enabled all interested players by opening the gym during the summer so they better prepare over the summer. But few things can prepare players for that varsity speed and sheer strength of perennial statewide powerhouses in the Greater Houston area.
“I knew we would struggle in the preseason, because of that, but with the preseason games we have three tournaments in a row, before district starts we’re going to get 20 to 25 matches, so we’ll have the experience of the speed behind us for when we go into district it’ll be easier to pick up those volleyballs,” McRae said.

Samantha Peters (16) serves the volleyball to Paetow during game two. The Cy-Park Tiger volleyball teams battles Katy Paetow in a three-game loss Tuesday (Aug. 14, 2018). Cy-Park stands at 1-9 in its first varsity season. (Cypress News Review photo by Creighton Holub)

The Tigers had picked up their first pre-district victory Saturday during the Katy-Cyfair Volleyball Classic, with a 3-0 match over Aldine’s Mustangs, 25-17, 25-11, 25-14.
“That was exciting, it took us a few matches to get there and we struggled a little bit,” McRae said. “But we came together and got that first win under our belt, so we’re ready to go for some more.
“I’m excited because I’ve been with these girls for three years, and I’m really excited to see what they’re going to do on the court and how they’re going to grow each match,” she added.

Setter Daija Perkins goes for a surprise attack against a pair of Paetow Panthers. The Cy-Park Tiger volleyball teams battles Katy Paetow in a three-game loss Tuesday (Aug. 14, 2018). Cy-Park stands at 1-9 in its first varsity season. (Cypress News Review photo by Creighton Holub)

Leading the Tigers last night were:
Kills: Asia Johnson, 6; NeTania Livingston, 5; Izabella Martinez, 3; Zemarah Lott, 3; Daija Perkins, 2.
Service aces: Martinez, 1; Perkins, 1; Mayelie Ramirez, 1.
Blocks: Livingston, 1.
Block assist: Perkins, 2; Johnson, 1; Livingston, 1.
Digs: D Ettra Johnson, 9; Kaylyn Verdun, 3; Ramirez, 3; Zemarah Lott, 3; Samantha Peters, 3; Martinez, 3; Perkins, 2; Livingston, 1.
Sets: Lott, 7; Perkins, 7.
Service receptions: Martinez, 14; Johnson, 12; Nia Washington, 8; Lott, 6; Peters, 5; Ramirez, 4; Verdun, 2; Perkins, 2; Livingston, 1.

Libero D Ettra Johnson (10) receives the volleyball while Izabella Martinez (7, left) and Ne Tania Livingston (6) look on. The Cy-Park Tiger volleyball teams battles Katy Paetow in a three-game loss Tuesday (Aug. 14, 2018). Cy-Park stands at 1-9 in its first varsity season. (Cypress News Review photo by Creighton Holub)

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