The Gainesville Lady Leopards volleyball team has a new coach in Lindsey Dorrity and with her comes a new attitude.
Dorrity and the Lady Leopards have taken a building-blocks approach to the season and have already seen some gains made from last season.
Gainesville recently picked up its first win of the season in a 25-19, 25-13, 25-18 sweep over Sam Rayburn on Sept. 4.
That has given the team some pep in its step as the Lady Leopards make their way through the first half of district play.
“Our whole season is going really well,” Dorrity said. “We’ve kind of gone in with the mindset that we’re changing the culture. We’re going to create a family atmosphere, show them what it looks like to win and being competitive. They’ve done everything we’ve asked and more.”
Gainesville fell to Anna on Sept. 15, but they lost in four sets, meaning they won one set – something they didn’t do at all in district play last season.
“We were really hoping to take the whole game, but we’re getting there and the buy-in is definitely there,” Dorrity said. “This district is really tough. We’ve got Celina, Melissa, Aubrey and now Van Alstyne is coming in and they have a lot of kids that play club ball all year round and we don’t have many of those. We’re going to capitalize on energy and the little details of the game.”
Dorrity was the JV coach at Frisco Lonestar and Gainesville is her first head coaching gig. She said she likes being in a smaller community.
“I’m super excited to be in Gainesville,” Dorrity said. “The community aspect has been really fun and all the coaches have really accepted me. It’s been great. My kids are going to school here and I’m really excited about starting my family’s life here. The team has really taken to me and they are really buying into the culture change. They want to get better and I’m excited to get to know the girls more.”
Energy is at the core of Dorrity’s coaching philosophy and she said the team has flourished with that mindset.
“You can bring energy from the room, take energy from the room or maintain and our goal is always to bring energy to the room and that’s what I base everything I do off of,” Dorrity said. “We worry about every little detail, but bring positive energy to everything we do.”
As far as the offense is concerned, Dorrity said the Lady Leopards have honed in on placement of the ball over speed. She said she’s noticed that has contributed to the success the Lady Leopards have enjoyed this season.
“That’s something we’ve really capitalized on is off-speed swings and we’ve been really working on higher elbow placement so we can utilize our vertical and not necessarily our height,” Dorrity said. “We’re not exactly blessed with 6-2 girls, but our off-speed placement has really helped us.”
Defensively, the Lady Leopards have shifted to a protect-the-corners game plan and that has allowed them to be quicker and has led to better offense.
As the Lady Leopards round out the first half of district play, Dorrity said they are working on holding each other accountable for every play that needs to be made on the court.
“We’re very solution-based and not problem-based so that’s something we’re working on,” Dorrity said. “What can we do to make sure that doesn’t happen again? We want to control attitude, effort and communication.”
Reach Patrick Hayslip at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @PatrickHayslip