Fall Sports Preview: Lady Mustangs hope to quicken pace
Members of the Lady Mustang volleyball team hone their skills during an afternoon practice session in Nixon.
NIXON -- When it comes to coaches, Nixon-Smiley Head Volleyball Coach Jane Iams is a woman of few words. Instead, she chooses to keep her head down, and to work hard, teaching her girls how to play the game to the best of their ability.
The Lady Mustangs, who finished third in their district last season, once again find themselves playing in a tough district filled with several of the state’s top teams. Nixon-Smiley returns six lettermen to this year’s squad, but has two new setters, and Iams understands her team has a lot of work to do in advance of district play.
Once the district season begins, the Lady Mustangs will step onto the court with Poth, Stockdale, Karnes City, Luling, Schulenburg, and Hallettsville. It’s certainly not an easy draw by any stretch of the imagination, and it’s something to which Iams is now accustomed.
“It is another tough district,” Iams said, “but that is not unusual for us. There will be a lot of battling, but we will play good teams and work hard for wins.”
In terms of the team’s on-court presence, the Mustangs aren’t really planning any major changes, but Iams said her team will focus on defense, and she will “make sure we are hustling.”
“Hustle” will be a necessary attribute, as Iams believes her team’s biggest hurdle will be adjusting to the pace at which the district teams will play this season. She knows that in order to keep up with them, they have to practice at a game-like speed, and condition their bodies to endure a fast-paced match.
“We have to change and understand the mindset of playing at that pace,” she said. “We have to practice that way every day.”
While the road ahead will be a tough one for the Lady Mustangs, Iams said everyone is excited and that the younger players who have moved up to varsity this season are very energetic.
After beginning their season on the road, the Lady Mustangs played their home opener Aug. 23. Nixon-Smiley will kick off its district season Friday, Sept. 7, as the team travels to Luling.