2011 SPORTS PREVIEW: Lady Mustangs want more out of 2011 season
After a big Nixon-Smiley rally, the Lady Mustangs celebrate during a timeout called by their opponents.
NIXON -- For the Lady Mustangs of Nixon-Smiley, 2010 was a difficult volleyball season. The team was forced to start from scratch after losing its entire varsity roster, and as one might expect, it struggled. But that was last year, and what a difference a year can make.
For 2011, the Lady Mustangs return their entire varsity roster, as they had no seniors on the team last season. Head Coach Jane Iams is excited about the year, and said her players are so much further than where they were at this point last season.
“Everyone is back,” Iams said with enthusiasm. “We have a good group of players, and everyone is focused on the team.”
Nixon-Smiley will remain in a tough district, and will face the teams from Stockdale, Marion, Luling, Randolph, Cole, and Brooks Academy.
“It’s always tough,” Iams said. “Marion is always good, Luling and Stockdale will be good, and you never know what you are going to get with Randolph and Cole.
“It’s going to be competitive,” she added. “We will have a good run at making the playoffs, though.”
The Lady Mustangs won’t make very many changes from what they did last season, and will look to build on what they did last year.
“Instead of just being out there and playing the game, we can make things happen now,” Iams said. “Rather than just reacting to what the other team is doing, we should be able to help dictate what happens on the court.”
When asked which players she expects a big year from, Iams couldn’t really say.
“The girls have done a good job at working off each other,” she said. “They work as a unit. There probably won’t be any one go-to person on the floor, and when they are on ... they will be great.”
When it comes to team strength, Iams feels it is their strong work ethic that sets them apart.
“We still have a lot of room to grow, but they are all working hard,” she said. “They are always working really hard.”
The Lady Mustangs’ lack of confidence may be their greatest weakness, and Iams said she feels like they still view themselves as “youngsters.”
“They don’t realize what they can do,” Iams said. “They are better than they know.”
As for team goals, Iams said they are focusing on the little things first. They want to gain experience from each match and learn from their mistakes, being careful not to repeat them throughout the season. Nixon-Smiley is also looking for a shot at the playoffs, and Iams believes that is a realistic goal for the Lady Mustangs this season.
“It’s going to be an exciting year, and the team is going to be fun to watch,” Iams said. “We have a lot of potential and I hope to utilize it.”