It’s barely been a week, but early returns on the Euless Trinity volleyball team are glowing.
The team kicked off its nondistrict schedule last week with a win at Duncanville before taking part in the highly competitive Mansfield ISD Sunrise Rotary Tournament. There the Lady Trojans went 8-1.
“We are so proud of how they have come out and played,” coach Mia Langi said. “In a new year, you never know what to expect with the seniors you’ve lost and what players will step up. We were pleasantly surprised at how quickly it’s all meshing — the team chemistry and how well the girls are playing together.”
Trinity posted victories against the likes of El Paso Americas, Mansfield Summit, Arlington Grace Prep, Arlington and Mansfield Lake Ridge, among others. The lone blemish was a three-set loss to Waxahachie.
“We’re a very young team with just three returning seniors,” said Margaret Dean, one of those seniors. “The talent is just so raw, and considering we just started a week ago, everything flowed perfectly.”
Langi praised Dean for her setting, while Dean had praise of her own for another teammate.
Lauren Skjolsvik is a newcomer to the varsity squad, and a late comer at that. She suffered a recent appendicitis and had the organ removed just before the season began.
“She had maybe one full practice and came in this weekend and took over the front row,” Dean said. “Just absolutely killed it.”
Langi was also complementary of Skjolsvik’s play, was well as other varsity newcomers Telysha Vaenuku and Monique Ikakoula.
“We’re moving them all around at the last minute and they’re adjusting well,” Langi said. “That’s a great thing because I know I can move them to different places.”
The flexibility to move players around is a luxury for this Trojans squad. Langi feels like it gives them options to adjust to other teams’ strengths.
“Coach keeps us on our toes,” senior Amanda McDowell said. “She has us practice in almost every position so the players are always ready to switch around.”
McDowell was part of a stellar defensive effort in the Mansfield tournament, helped by Savanah Johnson and Veronica Dollar.
“In year’s past we’ve always had some great hitters but couldn’t quite keep up on defense,” McDowell noted. “I think this year every player is ready to play defense and keep it up in the back row.”
Both Dean and McDowell attributed the team’s fast start to the players’ willingness to focus.
The new varsity players “came in ready to work,” Dean said. “No one is taking anything lightly at practice. Everyone is coming in ready to do whatever it takes to be successful with each other.”
“We lost almost half our team from last year [to graduation] so coming in we were a really young team,” McDowell added. “We’ve been putting in the work, so I think we’re really happy with how it turned out.”
Trinity will continue its pre-district slate this weekend at the Granbury tournament. Langi said despite the 9-1 start, she’ll continue to tinker a bit and put some players in different positions to try some new things. She knows that one successful tournament doesn’t make a season.
“Our preseason schedule is a good, competitive schedule for us,” she said. “We know that our district is one of the best in the state. Our girls are working hard each day, so we’re just going to keep taking it one day at a time.”