Volleyball gears up for August start
Volleyball is preparing for its start in the first week of August. Traditionally the Lady Panthers play in local spring leagues and they did this before the end of school. They competed in a local league run through Anna High School. The girls spent each Monday night in May in the gym, competing playing several matches each night. This year, the team also took the opportunity to play in a summer league hosted in June in Blue Ridge.
Volleyball is such a synchronization sport in that you have to build trust in knowing what your teammates can do. These spring leagues help players learn each other as those on varsity in the coming year might be playing a new role on the team and learning to play with those who get their first-time varsity experience.
Several girls have taken opportunities outside of local chances to build their skills by playing select volleyball. Senior Jayden Cranford said this about her club volleyball experience, "Playing club volleyball has helped me stay consistent with volleyball skills during the school off-season. Playing with different groups of girls has also helped me learn the importance of leadership with having to play alongside teammates you aren't familiar with. The stress-free environment lets me enjoy the game even on a high level."
Samantha Moore spoke of the opportunity to play in club volleyball as an obvious benefit, "to develop and improve in the basics of the game, stay active and improve as a volleyball player." She plays a different position on her club team as an outside hitter, where at VAHS, she has been a standout middle hitter. She spoke of this as, "club has allowed me to be a better all-around player with the hopes of continuing to play after high school." Abby Lange spoke about another positive of playing on a team outside of her hometown, " It has really developed me into a more positive person and made me more open-minded about making new friends and letting myself not shut people out as much as I use to."
Volleyball in the state of Texas will report for two-a-day workouts on Monday, August 2nd. Volleyball teams will have the opportunity to scrimmage other teams on that Friday and start games on August 9th. Only one week from the time you begin to practice to actual games shows the importance of teams' work in the spring and summer. Samantha Moore said the spring and summer leagues had been a priority for her because "they help build chemistry, work together and get to become a team before the season even starts." Abby Lange said another positive of the summer league, "It also lets our new coach see what she is going to be working with and how talented we all can be when we are put together!"