BELLAIRE - The Lady Big Reds' volleyball teams boasts a letter-winner laden roster.
However, head coach Kaye Sechrest knows her team is going to take some time to mesh this season as it implements a new offensive and defensive scheme.
So, while she admitted there was plenty to work on, Sechrest was elated with an opening-night victory Wednesday evening.
Bellaire dispatched Shadyside in three games by scores of 25-16, 25-12 and 25-13.
"We have little things we need to work on, but anytime you win a match, it's a good thing," Sechrest said. "The girls are still adjusting to the system, especially on defense, but this is a good group. We've got girls who want to play and want to win."
Shadyside, in just its second season of volleyball, continued the growth and maturation process, but Joel Joseph's team was still left searching for its first victory since renewing the program.
"If you want to compare openers between this year and last year, I'll certainly take this year," Joseph said. "People don't understand what we're going through. We're still building on the smallest of things that other teams may not even think about anymore. I never accept losing, but at the same time, we have to take the things that we're doing better and build on them."
Bellaire seized control in the first game and basically never looked back. The Lady Reds never took their foot off the gas en route to the sweep.
"I think a lot of the girls might have been a bit nervous tonight for the first match," Sechrest said. "Even though we do have some lettermen back, we have some girls who didn't necessarily play a lot, but our core group really got us going."
The Lady Reds were never seriously challenged in the second or third games.
"Believe it or not, to get beat three zip in a match, there were good things that we did," Joseph said. "The score probably doesn't show that, but there were good things. We just gave them too many points, and we can't afford to do that."
Pacing the Lady Big Reds in the stat column was Morgan Runyan, who had 13 points, six aces and two kills. Hunter Eden donated 12 points, two aces and two kills.
Cari Crozier chipped in with eight points, two aces and two kills. Mary Garloch produced six points, four aces and seven assists.
Shadyside was led on the stat sheet by junior Kenzie Fielding who had two aces, five points and two blocks. Angelina McKeever had three kills and Johanna Eniex had four points and three assists.
Bellaire will attempt to make it 2-0 this evening on Guernsey Street when Bridgeport visits.
Shadyside is off until Monday when it treks to Caldwell.
Bellaire made it a clean sweep by winning the jayvee match in two games.
Staskey can be reached at email@example.com