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Fall Sports Preview: Lady Bears have new team, new groove
The Lady Bear volleyball team prepares for victory during its first match of the season.
LA VERNIA -- New team -- new groove. That’s the theme in La Vernia, and fans of the Lady Bear volleyball team have certainly had a lot to cheer about early in the 2012 season.
Head Coach Theresa Reyes remains at the helm, and continues to guide the Lady Bears in their quest for state supremacy. She is joined by five returning lettermen, but the team lost eight players to graduation in the spring, and only one player was a starter on last year’s regional playoff team.
“It feels like a new team,” Reyes said with a smile. “It’s a different group, and we’ve got a lot of work to do, but I’m excited.”
While Reyes went on to talk about her team’s need to work on service return and communication, she did confess to being happy with how the team is looking early on.
“The trust just isn’t totally there yet,” Reyes said. “We need to get them to trust each other, to know that they have each others’ backs.”
Trust comes in time, but Reyes isn’t going to just sit back and wait for it to happen. She can be quite intense, and always finds a way to push her athletes to be their best.
La Vernia will be throwing out some different looks this season, and is going with a different approach to its defense and serve receive. Reyes understands the need to make changes based on her player personnel, and is looking for what will work best with this year’s squad.
“They are very good girls,” she said. “They have a great attitude and strong work ethic. Now we just need them to be more aggressive.”
The Lady Bears will deal with a slightly different district this season, and Reyes has identified Somerset as the team to beat. She feels her team has a great deal of potential, though, and she feels as though this team could be the one to make that elusive trip to the state tournament.
But mid-November is a long way off, and in the meantime, the Lady Bears have a lot of work to do. Reyes is really pushing the “team” aspect with her girls, and said she gives them constant reminders that they are only as strong as their weakest link.
“This is about more than teaching volleyball, it’s about trusting each other and growing together -- as a team,” she said. “We need to trust each other.”
It seems as though Reyes is getting through to her team early on, as the Lady Bears continued to get off to a great start, winning their first two matches in straight-sets fashion. La Vernia had a little setback against Alamo Heights, but then came back strong in the Wimberley tournament, defeating six quality teams en route to the tournament championship, and taking an 8-1 record into their second week of competition. As of this writing, the Lady Bears held the state’s No. 2 ranking. La Vernia will begin fighting for a district title Friday, Sept. 21, when it hosts Somerset for its first district contest of the year.
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