When 10 leaders on the team graduate, there’s an inevitable gap in the leadership and on-court guidance.
That’s maybe one of the reasons this year’s only senior returning starter for the Lady Chargers’ volleyball team, Hailey Hervey, said she worked in the off-season and summer league to be more vocal.
Although she’s been a leader since her freshman campaign at Central, Hervey isn’t shy about trying to fill some big shoes, even though the 5-4 defensive specialist only wears a size 8 herself.
“I’ve always been the type to be a leader on the court,” Hervey said. “I was a captain in my freshman year. So, it kind of fell into place as the only returning starter,” she said.
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Hervey said there are ample juniors and seniors on this year’s squad, with only one sophomore.
“I’m not afraid to tell them how to do things if they’re doing something wrong,” the mild-mannered senior said.
She doesn’t profess to have it all figured out on her own, though. She said she played summer league volleyball and stayed involved in various camps to improve her defensive game.
“I’ve also been working on my serve/receive,” she said. “We’re a passing team and so I wanted to improve on my passing. Playing on the outside and being a defensive specialist, everyone needs to be able to pass.”
Hervey knows playing solid defense and being able to get the ball up to the front is how she can contribute. She wasn’t concerned about not showing up on stat sheets with digs, blocks or kills.
“We have some really hard hitters to fill that need,” Hervey said.
The senior also takes great pride in the strength of the Lady Chargers’ defense.
“We’ve got some of the best defense I’ve seen and I like to think I help with that,” she said. “We’re a short team but very scrappy.”
With the district schedule just a few weeks away, Central is using their formidable early season to sharpen their skills.
“We want to win every game,” Hervey said, “but they’re all important. We’re very competitive and take them all seriously, whether pre-district, district or playoff games.”
Although the Lady Chargers have already faced tough competition such as last week’s game against Colleyville Heritage, they’ve slowly improved in their play with each and every game.
“We want to play as good as we can against the best. We played well for how good they (Heritage) were,” Hervey said. “We did some good things considering they go to the playoffs every year.”
Central also played in the stacked Mansfield ISD Sunrise Rotary Tournament. They picked up three wins in the tournament.
Last weekend, they played in another 32-team event at the Northwest ISD tournament. This weekend, Central will travel to the San Marcos Tournament. The Lady Chargers cleared their early season hurdles at San Marcos last season to come home with the tournament trophy.
“We’re all really looking forward to San Marcos this weekend,” Hervey said. “We always want to win every tournament and San Marcos is a big tournament. We love being together and the time on the road is good for team bonding.”