It will be the first varsity volleyball match in school history and it will be played in the shiny new auxiliary gym, the first athletic competition in the new facility.
It will also be the first volleyball match for most of the Lady Trojan squad, although some of the girls played last year in a very short "introductory year" of volleyball at the junior varsity level.
Tuesday's match will also be a first for Bradley Brown as the new head coach for the Lady Trojans. Brown is very busy putting the WCHS girls through intense practice sessions in preparation for the season-opener.
Brown said his focus is on the basics ... learning the fundamentals and strategy of the game, not so much on the wins and losses.
"Anytime you start a new program like this, we're concentrating on teaching and learning the game and not concerned so much with the outcome," Brown said. "We're not going to be upset with how we play in the beginning and hopefully the girls won't get frustrated.
We're hoping to gather everything we learn in the early season and are able to compete by tournament time, put it all together and maybe squeeze out a win that is unexpected."
The squad consists of 17 players ranging from seniors to seventh graders and some did participate last season. But Brown emphasizes "it's a whole new game" at the varsity level and his goal is to stress fundamentals and a positive attitude which will lead to success.
Squad members include: Hannah Heady, Kendall Benson, Lauren Rich, Sydney Mason, Sarah Quinn, Tuesday Adams, Corbin Hammack, Bailey Sanders, Hailey Benson, Faith Baty, Morgan Donaldson, Tayler Rich, Ashley Marshall, Jordan Pritchett, Brittany Blankenship and Brittany Sterling.
"They learned some fundamentals last season but very little about strategy. We've been trying to incorporate both in our practice sessions so far. I feel like the girls are picking up these things extremely well and they are very eager to learn. That's how we will become competitive," Brown continued. "It's certainly more complicated than just hitting it over the net like at a picnic or PE class. We're learning how to set, pass and kill (at the net) along with our daily conditioning."
After participating last season, Brown noted that most of the girls realize this first year will be a 'learning and growing experience' but he said their attitude is very positive and they've shown a willingness to learn each and every day.
"We realize we're not going to beat a squad like Apollo, we're just hoping to go out and stay in our game and focus on our game plan and the fundamentals of the game.
Eventually it will all jell together and I think the girls will see some success," the first-year coach continued. "The biggest thing right now is for most of the girls to believe they can achieve these things with the proper game plan. I've seen some frustration already ... girls passing or setting the ball and it won't go where they want it to. But if we continue to practice proper form and technique, that will eventually come around. Like any other sport, the repetitiveness of the proper skills will bring success."
Brown broke out into a huge grin when talking about the new facility now available for the volleyball squad.
"We're lovin' it," he smiled. "It's a beautiful place and the girls feel it's their home. They call it the volleyball gym. They're really proud of it and hopefully there will be a huge celebration when that first victory comes around sometime his year."
Webster opens its season Aug. 10, hosting Ohio County at 5:30. They travel to Crittenden County Aug. 12 and then back home on the new court against Union County Aug. 17.
Posted by Karen Klay Orange - iSurf News
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