Road to state volleyball title paved with sweat and tears
What a difference a year makes. The Lady Bulldogs had big shoes to fill this season after graduating several of their top players last year like Leanne Winterholler, Erin Robertson, Jodi Walker, Miranda Griffis and Schuylar Davis. With the loss of those players, the team also lost much of its height from the previous season. Only a few girls on the team were in the 5-10 range this year (Emilee Reasch and Bonnie Rodriguez) with the majority of the team averaging somewhere around 5-7 in height.
“How different this year was. At one point at the beginning of the year I was just hoping we would make it to State. I would have been happy to make it through Regionals and to get to state,” said Coach Stormy Jameson. “No one expected us to win the title this year, especially after everything we lost last year. In a way, it was good because we could exceed the expectation instead of having the pressure on us like we had last year.”
Not flapped by the naysayers, the girls put their minds to being the best they could be, proving the old adage that practice does make perfect.
“There were times we did the same drills every day – we served, we passed, and we knew that this was what we needed to work on because if we couldn’t do these things well we couldn’t do anything well,” said Jameson. “There’s really a lot of repetition in volleyball. You pass the ball a lot, you set a lot and you hit a lot. We just practiced these things over and over until we got really good at it.”
According to Jameson, the girls also worked on minimizing their errors.
“At the beginning of the year we were missing serves; we were not passing the ball well. We worked on fine-tuning these things all season,” said Jameson. “Mostly we just worked on the basics, we didn’t work on anything fancy, we worked on doing the basic things well – passing, serving, setting and hitting. It’s real simple, if you can pass the ball you can set the ball, if you can set the ball you can hit the ball.”