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VYPE's Preseason Volleyball Top 20 -- No. 3 The Pearland Oilers
August 13, 2012By Matt Malatesta of VYPE MAGAZINE - South Houston
The Pearland Oilers
Could This be the Year?
Coach: John Turner
2011 Record: 28-15
Postseason: Fell in the Third Round to Clements
By Matt Malatesta
One of the deans of Houston high school, Pearland coach John Turner has built a volleyball factory which churns out wins and college-bound athletes on a yearly basis. This year is no different.
"I feel with five returning starters returning, that this could be the best team I have fielded in the 19 years I've been at Pearland," Turner said. "The depth and experience at each position is three players deep with fierce competition at each position. Our leadership is also a big key for us."
The Oilers are led by senior captain Beth Shecterle, who was named the Defensive Player of the Year in 2011 in District 24-5A with over 1,150 digs and 120 aces for Pearland. Remarkable production from a defensive specialist.
While Shecterle has the senior leadership, it's a pair of junior twins who drive the bus for Turner. Setter Haley Morton was named the Newcomer of the Year for the district last year and also sets for the prestigious AVA 18Rox Team that competes nationally on the club volleyball circuit. Sister Katarina Morton plays a defensive roll for Pearland, leading the back row.
"They are definitely the spark plugs on this team and their will to win is unmatched by any other players in the game today," Turner said.
Pearland will be led in the middle by two solid players. Senior Ashlee Vann is a returning starter and high-recruited sophomore Cassidy Nussman, is a 6-foot-3 fly-swatter. Nussman is currently being recruited by the likes of Illinois, Texas Tech, Wisconsin among others.
On the left side, seniors Autumn Taylor and Waverly Sadler both return for their Pearland swan song and want to go out on top. According to Turner, both have had much success in the offseason and club season, becoming more consistent terminating hitters that will lead the Oilers on the offensive side. Courtlyn Castle (returning starter) will continue in her role on the right side, adding solid blocking and consistent hitting to the position.
"The success this team has this year will depend on their ability to 'take care of business' in each match," Turner said. "We can't look ahead and take one game at a time. If we do, the sky is the limit for us."
Can You Dig It?
Pearland is a tremendously well-balanced team with playmakers at every position. Chemistry is paramount when talking about girls' sports and the Morton sister along with the returning seniors will keep everyone on the straight and narrow. Cassidy Nussman could become the next big thing in Houston with a solid sophomore season.