Tournaments are over, winning is not

Wednesday, September 3, 2008
BY Kevin Hageland Staff Writer

PLANO -- While it’s understandable that Plano Senior senior Kiana Parks would enjoy the attention she received before and after the Lady Wildcats match Tuesday against Carrolton Creekview, there is no doubt that what happened on the court mattered most to her.

Parks was celebrating her birthday Tuesday, hence the off-court adoration, but her play during Plano’s three-game victory over Creekview is what encouraged Lady Wildcats head coach Jennifer Cron the most.

“Kiana is still working her way back from a concussion,” she said. “We have been testing her to see how she does on the court and today was the first time in awhile she has felt really good. That’s good for our team and great for Kiana, especially on her birthday.”

That’s not to say the match was easy for Plano as the Lady Wildcats had to fight off a game effort from the Lady Mustangs. Plano took the opener, 25-19, and built its momentum up with a 25-16 triumph in Game 2.

Game 3 was the tightest of the match, but the outcome didn’t change as the Lady Wildcats were victorious, 25-20, in the team’s home opener.

“There were some jitters there with this being our first home game of the season, which probably made the match a little closer than it should have been,” Cron said. “Our middles were doing a great job of hitting off the slide tonight, but we also had too many service errors.

“Right now we are trying to work on our consistency, which isn’t always there.”

What Plano has plenty of right now is momentum as the win came on the heels of the Lady Wildcats placing second at the Coppell Tournament, which wrapped up on Saturday.

After making it to Championship Bracket play for a second straight weekend, following up the success the team had at the Texas Open, Plano defeated Keller, 16-25, 25-22, 25-16 to advance to the semifinals.

Things just got tougher from there for the Lady Wildcats as they had to face Amarillo Tascosa, which had beaten Allen in the quarters. Plano lost the opening game once more, this time 13-25, but again turned things around with back-to-back game victories, 25-22, 25-18, to take the match.

“I’m very proud we made the finals,” Cron said. “I don’t think a lot of people were expecting that.”

Plano flipped the script from its previous two matches by winning Game 1 against Coppell, 25-23, in the tournament’s championship match. But the Cowgirls took the Lady Wildcats’ gameplan from there as they won the next two games, 25-18, 25-15, to capture their home event.

“I was thrilled with how we played the entire tournament and definitely excited to be in the finals,” Cron said. “But at the same time, there is some disappointment there because we wanted to win.”

Although the team’s first home match didn’t occur until Tuesday, Lady Wildcats’ fans won’t have long to wait for an encore as Plano will be home once more Friday when the team hosts Arlington at 7 p.m.

“We aren’t at our best yet, but we have definitely made steps of improvement these last three weeks and now it’s just a matter of getting everyone healthy,” Cron said. “I think everyone is excited about where the team is now and where we have the chance to be.”

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