The Van Alstyne High School Volleyball team is building up steam with a victory at home against their long-running rivals from Pilot Point. The Lady Panthers (4-5) and head coach Veronica Valdez had a rough start at the opening of the season with losses at the Princeton Tournament in Princeton on August 11 and 12. The Lady Panthers fell 2-0 to Farmersville on August 12 and suffered a 3-0 loss against their rivals from Ponder on August 11.

“So far, our main failures on the court have had nothing to do with volleyball skills,” Valdez said. “Our main problem is having consistent energy and communication on the court.”

The Lady Panthers had to work a little harder to overcome the heartbreaker of a loss against Farmersville at the tournament in Princeton where they took on their long time district rivals.

“Playing such a close match against Farmersville in the Princeton Tournament,” Valdez said the match was one of the highlights of the tournament despite the outcome. The victory over Pilot Point was just what Van Alstyne needed to use as a part of the foundation to develop a winning formula for the Lady Panthers in the rest of the season.

“Our win tonight which was our first home win of the season, and definitely just seeing the girls progress and have a ton of fun together.” Valdez said.

The Lady Panthers are looking to keep the fire burning after the team’s victory on Tuesday. The confidence level has increased significantly for Valdez and the Van Alstyne High School Volleyball team as the Lady Panthers put the Princeton Tournament behind them and look forward to the finding their groove.

“We finally figured out a lineup that started clicking for us,” Valdez said, “so I was mainly proud of the fact that they really started meshing on the court and feeling more comfortable with each other.” While the team has its obstacles to overcome, players like Alyssa Hill have been stepping up to put points on the board for Van Alstyne.

“Hill and Liz Purser have been our leaders scorers with kills per match,” Valdez said of the lead scorers. Valdez recognized other standout players such as Lindi Boling.

“Our libero is leading in digs per match right now and doing a great job in serve receive,” Valdez said, “Janea Larriviere, one of our defensive specialists, has stepped up and done a really great job for us in the back row as well.”

Valdez and the Lady Panthers have no intentions of taking it slow now that they have a home to build on.

“We definitely have some work to do on some situational stuff,” Valdez said, “on the court like over-passes and out-of-system plays.”

The Lady Panthers will work to turn this single victory into the start of a winning streak and hopefully make up for their previous tournament by bringing home a trophy to add to the display case at the Panther Stadium athletic facility as the Van Alstyne High School Volleyball team prepares for the next tournament appearance on the road in Denison to take on area rivals at the Denison Varsity Tournament on August 17 and 18.