After a volleyball district runner-up finish and a trip two rounds deep into the playoffs, Timberview can make a repeat performance but it will take a virtually new lineup to make it happen.
The Lady Wolves will return just four letter-winners and one starter this season as they begin their season workouts this week.
Head coach Beth Wills said Timberview lost a good group of girls in last year’s seniors. It was likely the biggest loss of a group in one season she’s had to experience.
“They had a lot of character and they left a legacy in the classroom and on the court,” she said.
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There will obviously be new faces on the varsity squad this year, but Wills said the work has been invested to create a winning team.
With many starting spots open for the taking, there’s plenty of space for girls to step up and step in.
“It will be a challenge,” Wills said. “But the kids are coming back and working really well together. We’ll have to become a cohesive team. We don’t have an identity yet, because we don’t know who will be on varsity,” she said prior to the start of the first practices.
Evidence the Lady Wolves will develop that cohesiveness was on display at the recent team camp in Abilene, Wills noted. The girls had struggled in competition but held together in most every situation a team could endure.
“We’ve got that going for us,” Wills said of the team’s experiences. “We have the strength and determination.”
Many of the new faces may come from the freshman class, said Wills, who had just seen the freshman camp wind up earlier.
“I’m really excited about this group,” Wills said of the rookies. “They have athleticism and there’s potential. The sophomores up to the seniors have potential.”
The test of talent and potential will come early, as Timberview will be in the field of 32 teams at the Mansfield ISD Tournament on Aug. 14-16. The third annual tournament will include eight teams from out of the North Texas area.
“The tournament is getting stronger and stronger,” Wills said.
What Wills will be looking for in the early games of the season is consistency. “That’s the hurdle for this team,” she said.
“We are not going to be the tallest or most experienced,” she added. “We’ll have to be consistent. We’ll have to know how to win the point and how to place the shot to win the point. We’ll have to be volleyball-smart. It may not be pretty all the time, but we’ll win the point.”
The Lady Wolves will have nearly 20 games in which to prepare before Aug. 26, when the district schedule gets underway.
The new district alignment will put Timberview with fellow MISD schools Legacy, Summit and Lake Ridge, along with Waxahachie, Red Oak, Lancaster, Arlington Seguin and Ennis.
The new district should foster even more rivalries, which may only help to build interest in the sport, Wills said.
For Timberview, that added interest may be the added challenge which pushes the young team to duplicate last season’s strong run.