Valley View and Gainesville officially opened their volleyball season against one another Tuesday, Aug. 6, and it was the Lady Eagles who dominated much of the match.
The Lady Leopards ended Valley View’s lengthy runs, but the Lady Eagles proved to be too strong as they rolled to a 25-6, 25-7, 25-4 victory at Valley View High School.
New Valley View head coach Kaitlyn Embrey said she was very proud of the team for picking up what system she is installing.
“They were really disciplined,” Embrey said. “So coming in with a system that they haven’t seen before, they did really, really well, considering it’s been their fourth day with me. I mean, they’re taking it and they’re running and they look really good. I’m impressed.”
Embrey said she has been tough on her team to start the season.
“We have things we have to work on and the girls know it,” Embrey said. “I’m always critiquing them right now because we’re in the beginning and I want to critique them so that way I don’t have to critique them as we’re getting deeper into the season. They’re really going off of it and they’re taking the criticism. They’re growing real quick.”
It was Embrey’s first win as a head coach and she said it was a special moment for her and the team.
“It feels amazing,” Embrey said. “It’s just nice to know that all the hard work that we’ve been putting in is really paying off. I loved all the kids. They’ve been great. They’ve all worked so hard and I’ve just been impressed with the talent that they’ve come in with. The amount of growth that I have seen in four days is unreal. It’s just amazing what these girls are willing to put in.”
Gainesville head coach Tobin Thurman said he saw spurts of talent, but the goal moving forward is to be more consistent with that talent.
“One thing defensively we tried to do was make some adjustments and at times, when we actually were working, those adjustments actually looked good,” Thurman said. “It’s now going to be about making those consistent plays time and time again and be in the right spot at the right time.”
Offensively, Thurman said the Lady Leopards need more work.
“We’ve got to be more aggressive on the ball,” Thurman said. “Part of that is from serves and making sure that we pass the ball where it needs to go. Setters need to do a better job of taking control and communicating with each other. I think that solves a lot of issues. If we’re communicating with each other, we know our hitters are getting where they need to be, our centers are getting where they need to be which allows everyone to do their jobs. Those hits will come and they do come. It’s just a matter of us just trusting each other.”
Patrick Hayslip can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @PatrickHayslip