Despite youth, Cougars anxious for season’s first tournament
As members of the volleyball team filed out of the locker room with freshly taped ankles, their shared focus and enthusiasm was less of a mode and more of an aura.
Their energy was aimed at the upcoming Delta Zeta Classic Aug. 30 and 31 in San Marcos. Starting her second season at the helm of the volleyball team, head coach Kaddie Platt has the same determined energy.
“We’re very excited. The girls are ready to compete against another opponent that’s not themselves,” she said, referencing both the practices and the annual Red and White Game this month.
Platt said the team spent the offseason working on fundamentals to illustrate the importance of the non-conference games against Quinnipiac, Lamar and Texas State. While she said the team will use a few things in the playbook that might not get used in conference play, the main goal will be to develop team chemistry, an important aspect given to the freshmen and transfer members.
“(The freshmen) are looking really good,” Platt said. “We’ve come in and we’re in pretty good shape. They adjusted to the system very quickly and I think they’ll spend some time on the court right away.”
Defensive specialist Meredith Ware, the lone senior on the squad, said the team is ready to compete.
“I think we got a lot of the jitters out in Red-White, just with the freshmen and transfer players playing on our court,” Ware said. “Just like with any season, everyone is going to be really excited to start that first game. There will be a few jitters, but it’ll go away pretty soon.”
Like Platt, Ware has noted the importance of the freshmen and has faith in the team’s younger members.
“They’ve come in and made a really good impact. We have a lot of depth at every position, so that’s been great,” Ware said. “We’ve been putting in the long hours all spring and summer.”
Platt, Ware and sophomore middle blocker Emily Howard all said that winning the tournament was the team’s number one priority.
“Everyone is just excited,” Howard said. “We’ve been training harder and longer — definitely getting into better shape. We’ve been getting a good feel of how everyone’s going to work together.”