Volleyball team reaches halfway point in district play


Zoe Allison

Junior Racheal Langs and sophomore Madison Watters protect the net for their team.

Nick Smith, Sports Editor

As the volleyball team (26-5, 5-1) nears the halfway point of district play with its away game versus Royse City (8-11, 1-5) tonight, head coach Jason Nicholson said that, aside from Highland Park (25-6, 6-0), the girls’ district opponents haven’t provided much of a challenge, making it difficult to sustain a playoff-level focus.

“I told the girls after the North Forney (13-10, 2-4) game that there is going to be some times in this district that we will have to make the matches more challenging, meaning we have to set some personal goals and maintain a high level of competition,” Nicholson said. “Our opponents are playing hard, however, they don’t have the caliber of volleyball players we do so we have to make the matches, such as the one against Royse City, beneficial for us by setting some goals and things we need to focus on.”

While some of district opposition aren’t playoff caliber teams, such as West Mesquite (6-25, 0-6) that only scored a total of ten points in the three sets against the volleyball team last Friday, Nicholson said he intends to use the games as playoff preparation anyways by outlining attributes the team can focus on during matches in order to be ready for the post-season.

“We have some things from a systems standpoint such as tempo of offense and keeping unforced errors to a minimum,” Nicholson said. “Which is hard to do because you know you can make a couple of mistakes that can come back to bite you in the butt, especially in close games such as Highland Park.”

Junior Annabelle Archer, who leads the team with 471 set assists, said that the team’s rematch against Highland Park in two weeks is a big priority in the back half of districts as a win would put the girls in contention to be co-district champions.

“Now that we get to play the district teams again, we really want to get revenge against Highland Park after they swept us last time,” Archer said. “It’s difficult when the competition isn’t as high in districts, but we need to make sure we are in our best form for when playoffs start.”

Team chemistry has been a focus of the volleyball team throughout the year and senior captain Callie Holden, who lead the team with 230 kills and 27 aces, said the team has really grown together as the season has progressed.

“Our chemistry is a lot stronger than it has ever been and I feel we are super driven to get better for playoffs which start in a month,” Holden said. “Compared to past seasons, I feel this year we know a lot more about each other personally, as well as we know each other’s tendencies on the court, helping us know how to make our teammates successful in certain situations on the court.”