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2011 SPORTS PREVIEW: East Central volleyball team is ‘taking care of business’
A member of the Lady Hornet volleyball team sets the ball for her teammate.
EAST CENTRAL -- What a difference a year can make. At this time last year, the Lady Hornet volleyball team was bringing back a seasoned team with high hopes for a district title and playoff run. In 2011, Head Coach Robyn Wunderlich is looking at a very different team, and trying to determine her best avenue of approach.
The Lady Hornets lost a total of nine players from last year’s varsity squad, but Wunderlich and her team are remaining positive.
“We may have lost some firepower, but we gained teamwork, effort, and hustle,” Wunderlich said. “We will build from that.”
Building the team and program is exactly what Wunderlich will need to do. She has some young talent at East Central, though, including three freshmen and a sophomore who were good enough to earn a varsity jersey. Wunderlich has been impressed with their play, and said the young players are “holding their own.” She isn’t sure where everyone will play on the floor, and is still working through some different lineups and combinations.
The team’s overall lack of varsity experience is likely to be its greatest weakness, and the Lady Hornets aren’t as tall as they have been in the past, but Wunderlich believes they can make up for it in other areas.
When it comes to the players to watch, Wunderlich said she expects good things from seniors Katie Foster and Alexa Padalecki, as well as Megan Dugie and Ashley Lopez.
“They know what to do and what I expect out of them,” Wunderlich said. “They will be a big part of our success this year.”
East Central plays a tough non-district schedule, but Wunderlich knows it will help prepare her team for a tough district run. She needs her players to understand that the non-district portion of the year isn’t about wins or losses, but rather, about preparing the team for a run at the district title and the playoffs.
With regard to the other teams in the district, Wunderlich said that Corpus Christi King lost a lot of kids, and that both Corpus Christi Carroll and Southwest have new coaches. Wunderlich believes the teams will be evenly matched throughout the district.
As for goals, Wunderlich said they are the same nearly every season. She wants to win the district title and earn a trip to the playoffs, and added that beating their rivals, King and Carroll, is always on the list. She said her team will have to work hard to get up to speed, and she hopes the older kids will help to “bring the young ones along.”
“The kids are still getting to know each other, but they all have great attitudes,” Wunderlich said. “There aren’t any individuals on this team. They are all playing for each other.
“They are great kids, and fun to be around,” she added. “They are all hard workers, and seem to have good team chemistry.”
Each year the Lady Hornets come up with a theme, and this year’s theme is “TCBing” -- meaning simply that they are “taking care of business.”
“We aren’t the tallest or the quickest team on the floor, but we are finding ways to get the job done,” Wunderlich said. “ECVB is TCBing.”
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