Volleyball serves West in nailbiter game


Lindsey Fortner

Junior Grace Glasscock (left) returns a serve and sophomore Kristen Barnard (middle) and junior Rachel Howes (right) wait to assist.

Benjamin Patterson, Sports Editor

    The Lady Wildcats volleyball team defeated Plano West in five hard-fought sets on Sept. 8 at home.

    The win continued the incredible start for the team, who are now 19-4 on the season. It was a great bounce back game for the Wildcats, who lost their game earlier in the week against Highland Park. The win over one of their biggest rivals should bring confidence to the team who’s next game is at home against Allen.

    “It is probably the best start the team has ever had, and we definitely have a target on our backs now. Everybody is going to want to beat us,” Coach Teri Minnis said.

    The Lady Wildcats came out strong, and had no trouble in the first set winning 25-15. The student section was lively as always, cheering on their team after just about every point they scored the entire game. The massive noise seemed to rattle the Wolves early, but they came back in the second set, jumping out to a large lead. The lead was not enough to stop the Lady Wildcats who rallied back from down 20-10 to take the second set 25-23.

    “It is always a little extra meaningful against West. We’d been looking forward to this game since before the season started,” junior Julia Adams said.  

    After the second set, the game took a turn for the worse as Plano West took the third set, 25-20. The set win seemed to pump some life into the Wolves, as they were playing with a tenacity that had not been seen in the first two sets.

    The fourth set was looking like it would end the same way, as the Wildcats were down 24-18, until the tide started to turn, and West’s lead dwindled all the way down to one point. However, a hit from junior Julia Adams went long and West took the set 25-23.

    The oddest moment of the game came in the fourth set when a hit from Adams bounced off the head of a West player and shot straight up in the air. It was a very literal example of using your head in the game. When the ball finally came down, it led to the longest point of the game as each team hit the ball across the net five times before Plano won the point.

    That was a turning point for the Wildcats, who began to rally back, and were infused with energy. The  carried into the final set, and was one of the determining factors of the last set.

    Throughout the game Minnis could be seen energizing the team, trying to fire up her players at breaks and during timeouts with her passionate pep talks.

    “I just try to remind them of the game plan and make little adjustments, such as defend more here or attack more here, and to keep a positive attitude” Minnis said.

    The game went to a fifth set, which only went to 15 points to determine the winner, and it was a nailbiter. The score was back and forth until the Wildcats were up 14-13.

    The game ended when Plano West hit a ball well out of bounds towards the stands. Plano won the fifth set 15-13, which gave them a much needed win.

    “The most important factor was the amount of effort we gave. No matter how tired we were, we kept going, and we came together and won,” sophomore Kristen Barnard said.

    This was the opener of a very tough stretch of games for the Lady Wildcats, who will hopefully take this momentum into the next few games against Allen and Plano East.

    “We open district play against the three toughest teams in the district, and this game will be a good confidence boost for the team,” Minnis said.

    The team recently had their meeting to discuss their goals for the year, and they are trying to keep it simple and not get ahead of themselves.

    “We are going to take it one step at a time the rest of the year. First we want to be city champs, then make a deep run into the playoffs,” Minnis said.