Volleyball Insider: Saginaw Boswell reaping benefits of coach’s simplified approach

Posted Wednesday, Sep. 11, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
Key matches Friday • Saginaw Boswell at Birdville, 5:30 p.m. • Keller Fossil Ridge at Southlake Carroll, 5:30 p.m. • Granbury at Aledo, 5:30 p.m. Tuesday • Keller Central at Keller Timber Creek, 6 p.m. • Ursuline at Nolan Catholic, 6 p.m. • Cleburne at Burleson, 6:30 p.m. • Arlington Lamar at Arlington, 6:30 p.m.

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Kevin Anderson’s first order of business as volleyball coach at Saginaw Boswell was to figure out how best to utilize the talent already in hand.

With 11 seniors on a roster of 17 players, that might seem a simple task.

“Since I started in January, I had some time to evaluate what was here, and just from being around the kids at different times in their careers, I knew we’d have a chance to be good,” he said. “The biggest improvement I wanted to make was just simplifying the offense for them because I felt like their thought process was too complex.”

That created a number of goals for the team, but Anderson said he mainly wanted the team to get better on just a few things rather than spread out many different offensive plays.

The results have been staggering, with hitting numbers improved and a core group of players that has emerged in its senior season.

Baylie Barnes has a 211 kills and a hitting percentage of 93.5 while Madi McVay has stepped it up to knock down 143 kills.

Both have flourished under Anderson’s simplified model.

“Making things easier and more understandable really gave us some confidence,” McVay said. “We started to get good at what we were doing, and we got a lot of confidence.”

So far, others are taking notice. Boswell won the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD Tournament and had fourth-place finishes in two other tournaments.

They’ve run their record to 23-4 and earned a ranking of No. 15 in the Texas Girls Coaches Association Class 4A poll.

Although the Pioneers learned some hard lessons in four losses this season, Anderson said defeats to Trinity and Copperas Cove meant the most.

Against Trinity, Boswell lost the first set of the match, won the second and then lost the final set by just two points.

“No one likes losing, but it did the girls some good in realizing that rankings and success are products of working hard,” Anderson said. “It was good for them to get in a different mode and get focused.”

Ready for district

Trophy Club Byron Nelson hitters are off to a blistering start, but their record is under .500 as the Bobcats head to district play.

Elizabeth Pennington has 176 kills on the season, and Haley Tippett has 168 for the Bobcats (9-15).

Still, prospects are good for a playoff spot in 5-4A, but overcoming errors will be key.

The Bobcats have 226 attacking errors and 107 service errors this season.

Reaching the summit

Xariah Williams has 195 kills for Mansfield Summit already this season and is dominating the net.

Teammate Lejla Camdzic is the next closest in kills with 105.

The Jaguars have a 11-7-2 record entering district play and had three wins, three losses and two ties in the Mansfield Rotary Club Tournament.

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