Young Lady Mustangs testing their skills against top district teams

Posted Monday, Sep. 16, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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As frustrating as last Friday’s loss to Euless Trinity was, Grapevine coach Diane Wilson still liked how her young team competed.

The Lady Mustangs (15-12, 0-1) lost in four games and were facing another daunting task Tuesday, playing host to GCISD rival Colleyville Heritage.

“We competed in every game, but an error here or there just cost us,” Wilson said. “They’re an experienced and cohesive team. We just haven’t seen any of these teams in the preseason. So this and the Colleyville Heritage match are a good gauge for us.”

Wilson is sticking with the lineup plan that will keep outside hitters Taylor Kress and Ashley Rice on different rows. She wants to maintain the consistency of the defense and ensure their quality in each player’s serve. Wilson also likes that it keeps the defense from being too soft in the back but keeps the front line effective.

Still, this is going to be a season where this team is going to through its ups and downs against the stronger teams like Trinity, Colleyville Heritage and possibly Hurst L.D. Bell.

“We’re looking for improvement from the first time we play these teams to the second,” Wilson said. “Definitely, we have not plateaued. We’re just having to stay patient.”

As for freshman right side Parker Fenton – the first freshman to ever play for Wilson on the varsity – Wilson said that her phenom is still making adjustments to the speed of the game in terms of the kill shots, movement and just how the ball moves.

Wilson wanted to keep her at right side instead of her natural background, middle blocker.

“For her, the best for her to deal with the speed was being on the right side,” Wilson said. “When she struggled, she became analytical. When she was surprised with the speed of the ball at some points, she finds a way.”

Colleyville Heritage update

Coach Jamie Siegel is pretty comfortable with her team. And with all due respect to the rest of 6-5A, there are going to be some teams where the Lady Panthers can still win comfortably and not have to play at full strength.

Take last Friday’s District 6-5A opening match against Irving Nimitz. The Lady Panthers (24-6, 1-0) won 25-8, 25-10 and 25-18 and played without junior outside hitter Maddie Jones and sophomore libero Rachel Goodwin. Jones took an unofficial visit to Kennesaw State in Georgia. Goodwin was just given the night off as Siegel wanted to take a look at junior varsity call-up Tatum Ticknor, who made her varsity debut.

“She looked fine. She wasn’t the nervous,” Siegel said. “I had brought her up to practice a couple of times but I made the decision to have her come up in the final 30 minutes of Thursday’s practice. Then the warmup before the match didn’t look good, and I just looked at her and said she was going to play.”

Answering why

Like any coach, Siegel wants to find a motivational tool. So when she found the NBA’s Kevin Durant talking about a player’s “What’s your why,” that struck her. She showed that to her team and it seemed to resonate.

Before each match, players write “Why” on their wrists and hands to remind them why they are out there and what the goals are they want to attain.

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