MIDLOTHIAN — Incoming senior Sydney Little, a member of Midlothian High School's Lady Panther volleyball team, verbally committed to Texas A&M University on June 23 via her Twitter account.
"Blessed to be able to say I have committed to Texas A&M to play volleyball," she said in late June. "GIG 'EM!!!"
Under former Head Coach Mary Malone, the Midlothian outside hitter helped her team finish 27-16 overall and 9-5 in District 10-5A and reach the regional quarterfinal round of the University Interscholastic League 5A playoffs. In 130 total sets played, she logged 614 kills for a .309 hitting percentage, 611 digs, 55 aces and 42 blocks.
Little had a season-high 26 kills against Mansfield Lake Ridge High School on Sept. 20 during a 3-1 victory over the Lady Eagles. That game not only marked a 19-dig double-double for her, it also started a trend that led her to score 20 or more kills in four of her next six games.
A year earlier, she had only 187 kills, 300 digs, 27 aces and 22 blocks in 30 less sets played. Her season high in 2015 was 13 kills against Grand Prairie High School on Sept. 29. She had 23 digs during the 3-0 shut out victory.
She returns to a playoff team with a new coach, but its core set of players intact.
If she holds true to her commitment and plans to make her way south to Aggieland, she will join a team that was one of the best in the NCAA last season. With Head Coach Laurie Corbelli at the helm, the Aggies went 21-9 overall and 8-2 in the Southeastern Conference, racking up 1,554 total kills, 1,571 total digs, 1,442 total assists and 98 total aces.
They, however, fell to Southern Methodist University in the first round of the NCAA National Tournament.
Little could be a valuable addition to a team headlined by 5-foot-11 former Taft High School outside hitter Kiara McGee and 6-foot-1 former Calallen High School middle blocker Hollan Hans.
Marcus S. Marion, @MarcusMarionWNI