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Close friendship boosts Lady Cats’ heavy hitters

Sometimes in life, there is nothing like a friend.

A pair of Lady Cat teammates feel that way when they are on the volleyball court—and off it, too.

“We are best friends,” Shelby Malone said of Alyssa David.

“On the court and off it,” David added with a smile.

Malone and David both play outside hitter for the Lady Cats. They have provided the spark the team needed to compile a winning record going into district play. After Tuesday’s match with Tom Bean, the Cats had won 19 matches, compared to 17 all of last year.

Malone, a junior, has been on the varsity squad the past two seasons. The left-hander has found her place as one of the Lady Cats’ leading hitters.

David moved back to the Pilot Point ISD to begin her sophomore year after spending the last five years in the Tioga ISD. When Malone learned her friend would be attending Pilot Point High School, she perked up.

“When I heard she was coming back, I got super excited,” Malone said. “I couldn’t wait for her to come back. Now that we have the chance to play together, we want to take advantage of it.”

David is glad to be back with her friend. She says the pair push each other to get better.

“We have confidence in each other, and we both want to win,” she said. “We know that if the ball comes to us, one of us will put it down.”

“We feed off of each other during the game,” Malone said. “We are usually both on our game at the same time, and that keeps us going.”

In the Lady Cats’ recent match with Sanger, Malone and David combined for 41 kills and 34 digs. That didn’t impress either of them.

“We don’t play for stats,” David said. “We play to win. We feel like we have a really good team. Our goal is to make the playoffs.”

Malone added: “We just play the game. We only know the stats if someone tells us or if we read them in the paper.”

The pair feels they are part of something special with this team. The fact that they are on the same team, at the same time, is icing on the cake.

“We feel like we are good enough to make a run in the playoffs, not just get there,” Malone said.

Malone and David are quick to point out that they have great teammates as well.

“We have a really good setter, great defensive players and great teammates,” Malone said. “We all have to do our job, and ours is to hit.”

David tapped the breaks on the playoff talk, noting the Lady Cats still have a job to do in district. The Lady Cats lost Friday’s district opener, taking Gunter to five sets before it was decided.

“We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves,” David said. “Although [making the playoffs] is our goal, we have to focus on district first.

“Not everyone gets the chance to play with their best friend.And when they do, it’s not always on a team that is this good.”

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