By TAYLOR GRAFFT
As the season progresses for the Liberty Hill Varsity Volleyball team, Coach Gretchen Peterson believes her team is headed in the right direction and is showing signs of progress as they gear up for District play.
“Overall, I feel like we are moving in the right direction,” said Coach Peterson. “We are starting to play with the intensity and tempo that will be needed when district and playoffs start.”
The biggest hurdle that the Panthers must battle is remaining consistent as they head into the bulk of their schedule against some of the tougher opponents.
“We are struggling right now with consistency,” Peterson said. “But we are getting better at adapting and adjusting to our mistakes.”
The Panthers have been a strong force offensively and have been communicating and passing the ball well this season. Coach Peterson believes that in order for the team to take the next step they must make defense a priority.
“We have to make defense a priority every time we step on the court in practice and in matches,” she said. “Offensively, we are swinging well, but still go through times where we give too many unforced errors.”
The Panthers have been forced to play without Madi Sharp for the last few matches and tournaments, but Coach Peterson believes that it’s making the team mentally tougher.
“Mentally, we are getting tougher,” Coach Peterson said. “Not having Madi has not been ideal. She brings a lot to the court, but we are really proud of how well the team has stepped up and assumed new roles, and not skipped a beat.”
The Liberty Hill Panthers Varsity volleyball team traveled to Taylor High School on Friday, Sept. 6, and swept the Mustangs in three games. The team then traveled to Fredericksburg on Tuesday, Sept. 10, and defeated the Billies in a close five games (21-25, 25-22, 25-16, 22-25, 15-13).
In the match against Fredericksburg, the Panthers lost the first game 21-25 to the Billies. The Panthers came back strong and won the next two games 25-22 and 25-16.
With a 2-1 game advantage over the Billies, Liberty Hill struggled in a close fourth game and lost 22-25.
In the final game, the Panthers came out on top 15-13 through some spectacular play by their leaders.
Peyton Redmond led the Panthers with 14 kills, while Kallie Perrin led the team with 41 assists. Payton Walker led the Panthers with 15 digs and Jaycie Pluenneke led with four blocks. Redmond, Jill Green, Walker, and Hallie Supak all finished with one ace.
Liberty Hill will travel to Round-Top Carmine on Sept. 13 to take on the Cubs at 7 p.m. in their next match.