By Evan Grice
If it’s near the end of July, that can only mean one thing. Volleyball season is upon us.
And for the Piedmont Lady Wildcats volleyball team, they are hoping their third year as a program brings them more than just a little charm.
Second-year head coach Brad Brucker and his squad officially got to work Monday morning at the Piedmont Intermediate Gymnasium, with their first day of practice.
PHS returns multiple starters on varsity this season, and after the first day of the 2014-15 season, Coach Brucker thinks they are only going to get better.
“The thing I’m trying to guard these girls from is being content,” Brucker said following the first practice. “I don’t want them to see their potential in the first week of practice. There needs to be a hunger to be an elite 5A volleyball team. You can’t do that without realizing just how much work you have to do.”
“I’m walking a fine line because I’m trying to praise them, but at the same time making the girls realize we still have work to do.”
One of the returning players on the varsity side of the ball will be Anna Young, who said while there is progress now, there’s still plenty left to make during the season.
“I think we looked decent for the most part,” she said. “We looked way better than we did last year, but we’ve still got a long way to go as a team this season. A lot of us have been playing club ball this summer, so we’re all more experienced. I also think we’re going to have more depth on our bench this season.”
Brucker added that this season, the junior varsity players are going to be pushing the varsity girls in practice, which is going to lead to better competition and hopefully better results.
“We were missing three junior varsity kids in the first practice to be honest,” he said. “But, for the most part we have a pretty good idea who is going to make varsity. There could be some surprises though. As a team, our talent level is so much higher than it has been.”
“So when we do varsity against JV, then we’re raising the competition level,” Brucker added. “That’s going to help us tremendously getting better. This way we’re not getting that shock in the first set of a game, because we’re already playing at a high level in practice and making that transition.”