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PNG sweeps United, meets Nederland Friday

The Port Neches-Groves volleyball team is off to a strong start in the District 21-5A season heading into a match against Nederland on Friday.

The Rock-A-Noos (2-1 in 21-5A) defeated the United Timberwolves 25-18, 25-22, 25-23 Wednesday.

Sarah Groves and Morgan Louvier led the team in kills with seven and five, respectively.

Rylee Rojas (9) and Kassie Carpenter (8) led the team in assists.

“I couldn’t be more proud of how they are progressing,” PNG head coach Brittany Fruge said. “They have bought in and worked hard every single day. Their hearts are in it and I am very excited to see what they do the rest of the season.”

Fruge has been impressed with how much her young team has grown. This is the first time she has had this young of a team at the varsity level.

She envisions this group as the beginning of a plan for the team.

“That makes this special to us,” Fruge said. “We get them essentially for four years and the others for one or two. I feel like they are going to be something special. They already are. Every time they get on the floor, they are better at something.”

Fruge said her team’s volleyball IQ expands daily.

“It’s a blessing that I get to watch them grow from middle schoolers,” she said. “That is really fun watching the development of players and the passion that we have for the game is why we come every day and work hard every day. It’s fun to watch them grow.”

The coach said the team’s attention to detail has also improved.

“They are focusing on the little things,” she said. “Being disciplined and doing the little things right add up and we harp on that. They have really bought in. Every day, they come to practice with a goal and they have an accountability partner. It’s a lot of information for some of them. They know that it is a journey and that we are in it together. If they have heart, fight and passion, we can work with that.”

Fruge is excited to play against PNG’s Mid-County rivals because of how well coached they are.

“Nederland is always really good on defense,” she said. “They are that team that is always going to get the ball back to you. They will hustle and hustle and hustle. I love that we will get to play them. It’s a match that we get to see our kids play up.”

Fruge said she tries to downplay the friendly rivalry, but understands there is a different tone to practice when Nederland is the next opponent on the schedule.

The match is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. at Nederland High School.

PNG has a home make-up match against Crosby Saturday.