In its inaugural varsity season, the Haslet Eaton Lady Eagles volleyball team is looking to soar under the leadership of coach Diane Wilson, formerly of Grapevine, and a very dedicated group of junior players.
Wilson said that she has been impressed with what she has seen from her team to this point and said she anticipates a competitive first season.
“Things are shaping up for the season,” Wilson said. “We have an athletic group of juniors leading our first varsity team. They have proven themselves to be very competitive last season and throughout the offseason. We will only be adding a couple of girls to the roster that played together last year as JV.”
Among the players Wilson expects to lead the way for the Eagles in 2016 are juniors Kaylee Payne and Lindsey Ferkel.
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Payne, a middle hitter, is exactly the sort of player a coach looks for when fielding a young team.
“She is a vocal leader and emotional leader for the team,” Wilson said. “ She is one of the most competitive players I have ever had the opportunity to coach.”
Ferkel, an outside hitter/middle hitter, provides a high energy and versatility that is crucial at this stage in a team’s development.
“She is an energetic spark for the team,” Wilson said. “She will be moving from middle hitter to playing both middle hitter and outside hitter.”
Payne said that she is optimistic about this coming season because of the great chemistry that is already being formed among her and her teammates.
“So far, the dynamics between the team are shaping up really well, because we all bring everything we have to each practice,” Payne said. “Since this is our first year competing on the varsity level, I know it will be challenging, but I feel we are more than ready for it.”
Payne added that there are some definitive goals for the coming season, as well.
“Our objectives this season are to continue building all of our basic volleyball skills to become effective in our passing, hitting and blocking,” Payne said. “This past week at camp, everyone showed up with positive attitudes and gave 110 percent of themselves. We are all very ready for the season to start so we can focus on building our team to qualify for the playoffs.”
Wilson said her team will “need to stay healthy and peak at the right time,” in order to make the playoffs and said she anticipates Northwest and Boswell to be among Eaton’s most difficult district opponents.
“This is a competitive district, and we will be fighting to be in a playoff spot,” Wilson said. “I think we will surprise some people with our commitment to work hard every play, every point.”