AMERICAN-STATESMAN POWER POLL: CLASS 4A AND BELOW
1. Wimberley (37-9 in 2019): Coach Stephanie Bartel’s Texans had heavy graduation loses but return six letter winners for Class 4A powerhouse.
2. Johnson City LBJ (31-11): High-flying Eagles dropped down to Class 2A and are favored to earn a spot at least at the regional tournament.
3. Taylor (24-18): Former McNeil and Vista Ridge coach Kate Kennedy has rejuvenated the Class 4A Ducks, who will also benefit from former district foe Liberty Hill’s move up in class.
4. Round Rock Christian Academy (40-7): TAPPS Class 3A state runner-up last season returns a core for a team that has captured two state championships in the past nine years.
5. La Grange (24-22): The Leopards have plenty of talent back and look like favorites in revamped District 20-4A that includes Giddings, Smithville, Austin LBJ, New Tech, Eastside Memorial and Austin Achieve.
6. Granger (26-10): The Lions leaped to a Class 2A playoff spot last season and return a bevy of talent, marking them for a solid run in postseason play.
7. Jarrell (19-15): The Class 4A Cougars are poised for a strong run with three returning starters and five letter winners.
8. Thrall (20-13): The Tigerettes, a traditional power, reached the regional tournament last season and will likely fight it out for the top spot in District 25-2A with Granger and rival Thorndale.
9. Lago Vista (18-10): Longtime volleyball coaching legend Debbie Hansen retired from the sidelines and graduation left some holes, but the Vikings should be solid performers again this season.
10. Thorndale (28-8): The Bulldogs had major graduation losses from their best team in years but should be capable of a playoff run in competitive 25-2A.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: CLASS 4A AND BELOW
McKenna Cowsert, Johnson City LBJ, 5-foot-11 senior middle blocker
Paige Crawford, Wimberley, 6-0 junior outside hitter
Lanie Doyle, La Grange, 5-10 senior outside hitter
Haley Giddens, Florence, 5-9 senior middle blocker
Carsyn Locklin-Bilbrey, Granger, 5-9 senior outside hitter
Maggie Ryines, Taylor, 5-10 senior middle blocker
Natalie Womack, Round Rock Christian, 5-4 senior setter/libero
Kiera Van Brocklin. Taylor, 5-8 junior outside hitter
Avery Zuniga, Summit Christian Academy, 5-9 senior outside hitter
MATCHES TO WATCH TUESDAY
Giddings at Taylor, 7 p.m.
Wimberley at La Vernia, 6:30 p.m.
Florence at Salado, 6:30 p.m.
Brentwood Christian at Jarrell, 1 p.m.
Lago Vista at Cameron Yoe, 5 p.m.