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VYPE's Preseason Volleyball Top 20 -- No. 19 Cy Fair Bobcats
August 10, 2012By Matt Malatesta of VYPE MAGAZINE - West Houston
The Cy-Fair Bobcats
Coach: Donna Benotti
2011 Record: 38-6
Postseason: Fell in the Regional Quarterfinals to Memorial
By Matt Malatesta
Cy-Fair Bobcat coach Donna Benotti has quite the resume. Her Bobcat program has been to the playoffs 13 out of her 14 years as coach, reaching the state tournament in 2007, the regional finals twice and the semis several times.
After bowing out to Memorial in the second round a year ago, Benotti and her Bobcats are ready for a deeper run in the postseason. But she will have to do it with some youngsters.
"We have a quick, strong defensive team, but we are young," she said. "We don't have that true terminator who can put the ball down every time they touch it, but we are deep in all the offensive positions and we will have power from all three directions."
Leading the den will be junior Lila Palmer at outside hitter. Palmer mother is the Cy-Fair assistant coach, a two-time All-American at Texas and in the Longhorn Hall of Fame. Palmer is an athletic outside hitter and is a pivotal part of the Bobcats' plans, said Benotti.
Setting Palmer will be two capable quarterbacks in Keely Hayes and Nikki Robison, while Kayla Brown will man the middle blocker spot.
"We have some very interesting 6-foot sophomores, three outstanding defensive specialists and a freshman, who I can't talk about," she laughs. "They are going to surprise some people and big things will happen for them."
Playing in one of the toughest districts in the state will get the new young guns up to speed quickly, however.
"I feel fortunate to be in this district because every night we play a strong opponent," she said. "It gets you ready for the playoffs when Tuesday and Friday nights you have to be on your game."
Can You Dig It?
Kylie Schott and Emily Wright were the backbone of the Bobcats in 2011. So who will take over the leadership role for Cy-Fair this season? Good question as they return only one senior to the group. Matches against Cypress Woods are legendary, but watch out four district-foe Cypress Ranch to become a rival very quickly. The Bobcats will make the playoffs, but how far they go will be determined by team chemistry.