Lady Panthers once again dominant as defense-oriented squad

Posted Monday, Sep. 09, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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With her team ranked No. 6 in the Texas Girls Coaches Association’s latest Class 5A poll, Colleyville Heritage volleyball coach Jamie Siegel has found where the defensive approach seems to be taking hold.

The Lady Panthers are earning the reputation of being one of the best programs in Texas. However, that doesn’t mean anything in terms of advancing to the postseason. This group is more defensive oriented because it is a shorter lineup across the board.

“I’m happy with where we are at,” Siegel said. “But with that said, we’re not anywhere close to where we want to be. This is a day-in and day-out process. I think we’re getting to the point where we’re embracing our identity.”

What makes this group interesting is that she doesn’t have to finalize on anything definitively in terms of rotation or the serve receive game. There are matches where she is using a libero. There are matches where she isn’t. That’s going to depend on the opponent. Plus, she’s not shying away from changing up rotations with different player combinations.

Two of the players where she is seeing some improvement are senior outside hitter Chandler Templin and senior outside hitter Emily Schrimsher.

“Chandler is just getting more direct with her shots and she’s just becoming a smarter and smarter player,” Siegel said. “Emily is just becoming more comfortable with the block. What’s also important is that the team is talking more and more. That makes a big difference.”

As for the serve receive game, that’s still a work in progress. Like many programs, Colleyville Heritage uses a 3.0 scale. Any pass above a two (2) is considered a quality pass.

“Right now, the serve-receive is not where I want it be,” Siegel said. “I want to move a little bit better because that first pass is so important. Right now, we’re at about 2.3 but it needs to be higher. We have to be at around 2.7 to 3.0 per match to where I need it to be.”

That number is not far-fetched to reach. In the run to the 2012 Class 5A Region I championship game, the Lady Panthers were consistently 2.6 and 2.7 in their matches, Siegel said.

The setter is set

Junior Alex Janak continues to make her mark as the team’s go to offensive weapon. She has more than settled in as the team’s setter. That means that Siegel is sticking with a 5-1 alignment. While there is a second setter in sophomore Katherine Anthony, Janak continues to build on the season she had in 2012.

“She’s just doing a better job of seeing the opposing team’s middle blocker,” Siegel said. “She’s a smarter player.”

District 6-5A play starts

The Lady Panthers start district play against Irving Nimitz and will be the prohibitive favorite.

“We know that people will play their best against us,” Siegel said. “But it’s really a question for us and what we are going to do.”

Grapevine update

Head coach Diane Wilson’s Lady Mustangs (14-11) begin district play on Friday against Euless Trinity. Taylor Kress leads the team with 212 kills, 379 digs and 30 aces. Setter Chandler Coolbaugh has 484 assists and 30 aces.

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