Volleyball plays pre-district challenge


Mandy Halbert

Bailey Downing practices bumping.

Nick Smith and Drew Doig

The volleyball team travels to McKinney Boyd tonight in their last game of what head coach Jason Nicholson has called a very competitive pre-district schedule.

“In my mindset, it’s not about wins or losses, it’s about getting challenged so you can find out who you are as a team,” Nicholson said. “We’ve played in three of the biggest tournaments as well as some 6A powerhouses such as Hebron, Plano West, and Southlake to throw ourselves into the mix and hopefully learn from those pressure situations.”

Though Nicholson said he isn’t too concerned with his pre-district record, the team has garnered 14 wins out of 19 games so far in the year and hope to add another one tonight at 6:30 p.m. versus what Nicholson has described as another powerhouse team.

“We’ve played Boyd twice already and are 1-1 with them so far,” Nicholson said. “Both times were very competitive tournament matches with us beating them in the semifinal of the Allen tournament, and then this past Saturday, we didn’t have the knockout punch to put them away, and they stuck one out on us. They have some good, physical volleyball players so it should be fun.”

This past Tuesday, the volleyball squad played Southlake Carroll and suffered a 3-0 set sweep that Nicholson said showed a few of the question marks the team still has.

“Some of our tougher matches and losses we’ve had a hard time with what I call closing the deal,” Nicholson said. “All-in-all, we did some good stuff, mixed up our personnel a bit, and saw some things we liked, but I still think we got some key kids that need to be a little bigger late in the game against these tough teams. As I told the girls, this is the opportunity for us to learn and figure out what our identity is, making sure it’s not a team that can’t finish games.”

As the team develops their strengths, senior captain Bailey Downing hopes the combination of experience and new talent will produce successful chemistry.

“Having experience on the court is a strength of ours due to everyone playing club volleyball and having a majority of seniors and juniors of the team,” Downing said. “The new varsity players are fitting in well and have helped the team a lot also.”

As the team is forming strong chemistry, senior Lexie Smith has high expectations for the team this year.

“Our team’s goals this year are to keep the losses in the preseason at a minimum, have zero losses throughout district, and win at state,” Smith said.