Volleyball team refocuses for homecoming


Zoe Allison

Senior Lexie Smith prepares for next point.

Nick Smith, Sports Editor

The volleyball team (24-5, 3-1) hosts West Mesquite (2-15, 0-4) for tonight’s homecoming game as head coach Jason Nicholson said he hopes the next few district games and practices will set the team on track for playoffs.

“West Mesquite has some athletes and should challenge us a bit which should help us,” Nicholson said. “The key is we have to get in the gym after school and practice so we can get some good effort going. That’s where I think the matches for the rest of the season will be won or loss.”

While the girls swept Wylie East (12-11, 2-2) in three sets last Tuesday, Highland Park (23-6, 4-0) proved much more of a challenge last Friday as the volleyball team loss in three close sets, falling to second place in district standings.

“I feel like we got off to a bit of a slow start against Highland Park and that’s really been our nemesis when we are on the road,” Nicholson said. “We lost a little confidence in set one and I think that really contributed to the loss, but I give Highland Park respect as they came out with good energy and played well, though I think they are a team we should beat the majority of the time.”

Nicholson said the outcome of the match could have easily been different if the girls had taken one of the first two sets to change the momentum of the game, making the loss even harder to swallow for the volleyball team, senior captain Bailey Downing said.

“It was very discouraging and we were all very upset with our poor performance,” Downing said. “I think it was a good wake up call for us though, motivating us to get back in the gym and work harder so it doesn’t happen again.”

Both Downing and Nicholson said the loss wouldn’t affect playoffs as long as the team keeps their run of district wins going and that the girls will be more prepared when they face Highland Park again at home.

“Now we have some good film and since they beat us, I think it will get the girls more fired up emotionally and mentally to get their revenge on Highland Park,” Nicholson said. “The next game will come down to the energy and focus we have, because physically we should be a bad matchup for them. We weren’t Friday night, but we should be.”

As the girls look ahead to the next week of district play, North Forney (13-8, 2-2) home on Tuesday and Royse City (8-9, 1-3) away on Friday, junior Annabelle Archer said the team needs to focus on finishing games and putting away sets after point 20.

“I think we also need to focus on limiting errors on our side of the net instead of relying on whoever we’re playing against to make mistakes for us,” Archer said. “West Mesquite will be a chance for us to get back to playing how we know we can and build our confidence up to start preparing for a rematch against Highland Park.”