Plano Senior squashes first round nerves

Friday, August 15, 2008
By Cory J. Mageors, Staff Writer

DUNCANVILLE -- Plano Senior brought many fresh faces to the first tournament of the volleyball season Friday as the Lady Wildcats took part in the first day of the Duncanville Tournament of Champions.

And those new players seemed a little anxious as they started things off against J.J. Pearce in Plano's first match.

“We were a little nervous because this is such a big tournament,” said Jennifer Cron, Lady Wildcats head coach. “A lot of these girls want to make a big impression right now. But that is no excuse, especially after we did so well in the first match of the season.”

Plano defeated Sachse, 3-0, in that first match, and felt confident as they paired up with Pearce in the first round.

Points came in bunches as Pearce went on a 4-0 streak to take an early lead. But Plano battled back with junior Caiti Wenger popping two spikes down to tie it up, 5-5, early in Game 1.

The Lady Mustangs took advantage of every opportunity though, and capitalized on minor miscommunication errors by the Lady Wildcats.

“In any sport it is important for the players to communicate,” Cron said. “All successful teams are always about communicating well throughout the game. But that is going to come.”

Both teams appeared as if they were trying to get back into form in this early portion of the season and Pearce seemed to catch on quicker as they took a seven-point lead at 19-12.

The Lady Wildcats, however, rallied to score seven of the next 11 points; but Pearce finished off Plano in Game 1 with a run of its own, winning 25-19.

In Game 2, Pearce continued to roll as they raced out to an 8-1 lead.

Plano, which was backed into a corner, was then forced to fight their way out. With the help of senior Paige Webb, sophomore Maddy Haas and Wenger, they were able to do just that.

Senior Kiana Parks lofted up a couple of nice sets and suddenly, Plano was down by merely one point at 16-15.

But after taking a 20-19 lead, the Lady Wildcats gave up seven of the last 11 points to fall, 26-24.

“They showed they have some fight in them,” Cron said. “That was one of the positives that I saw. They wouldn't just roll over.

“We are hoping to carry that into the next match and use it to our advantage.”

In its second match of the day, Plano picked up the pace and defeated Mesquite Horn in two games.

Game 1 was more of a struggle, as Horn kept it tight. But Plano showed it was able to close a team out by defeating the Lady Jaguars, 25-23.

In the final game, Plano stayed ahead and used the size of Wenger, Haas and Webb to take control and eventually win, 25-14.

“Our serving and passing really hurt us in the first match,” Cron said. “But we began to talk pretty well in the second match. It was a lot better and we want to go uphill from here. Every time we step on the floor we want to get better.

“The main thing is getting the basics down and knowing who is supposed to be where and when they are supposed to be there. We have to get that down first.”

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