Colleyville Heritage volleyball coach Jamie Siegel didn’t lose too many players when the 2014 class graduated. Four of her six starters are returning.
Her senior class this year doesn’t suffer a dearth of talent, either. Anna Walsh and Maddie Jones have both committed to Division I programs: Virginia and Kennesaw State, respectively.
They are both competitive, ready to do whatever the team needs to win.
Walsh, a middle blocker, was asked to take on a bigger role last year. She played all six rotations for the first time her junior year.
“I just feel like it’s easier for me to kind of get my team going, change our momentum pace if we are getting down, if I play six rotations,” Walsh said.
Often, six-rotation players are targeted by their opponents to tire them out.
“(Walsh) did really well,” Siegel said. “All my girls they come in pretty conditioned, in good shape. I mean, at first, it was a shocker of like, ‘Oh, this is what it’s going to be like,’ but after that, she was fine.”
There was a learning curve. It took time, but Walsh became more consistent defensively. This year, she has the advantage of experience in that role; she won’t be starting from scratch.
“Now she knows the expectations, she knows the job defensively and everything, and she’ll be up for it again,” Siegel said.
Jones was also asked to take on a six-rotation role. It was an adjustment at first to go from the back row, where she spent most of her time as a defensive specialist/libero.
“I’ve gotten used to it. I really like playing six rotations. I like kind of being that player that you can set me and I’ll put the ball away,” Jones said.
Jones enjoys playing on the back row for one reason: she is competitive.
“On the back row when you have a hitter coming up against you thinking that they’re going to score, and I’m like, ‘Heck, no you’re not,’” Jones said, “that’s one of my favorite things. I love going against really hard hitters.”
Jones and Walsh’s last season won’t be a walk in the park. With the district realignment, Colleyville will face district rivals Southlake Carroll and Coppell. They aren’t new rivals; they have taken turns knocking each other out of the playoffs for the past two years, Siegel said.
“There’s always that battle going on, and I’m excited about it, and I think the girls are excited about it,” Siegel said.
The new district rivals will prepare the team for the playoffs because Colleyville’s former district wasn’t as competitive as the teams it faced in the postseason, Jones said.
“It will be very, very competitive and exciting, which we are excited for because our district for the past couple of years have just been Irving teams and just kind of the teams that weren’t as competitive for us so we’re really excited,” Walsh said.