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Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Volleyball: Health key for Plano West in playoffs

By Brittany Levine

As the playoffs draw closer, the Plano West volleyball team will continue to focus on what they have been focusing on all season. One aspect they will continue to monitor is health, as injuries have plagued the team this year.

“We have been injured a lot this year so practicing hard while trying to rest what we need to and stay healthy will be key,” said coach Brittany Bridge.

Bridge says her team will prepare for the playoffs by studying film for each team it will face. If the Wolves continue playing well defensively and with their never-give-up attitude, they should prove to be worthy competition for their early-round rivals.

“Playoffs will be very tough as our district matches up with one of the other toughest districts in the state in the first and third rounds,” Bridge said.

Something else the team will work on is getting top hitters Laura Jones, Sarah Bennett, and Katie Stebbins to all be at the top of their game together. If they can overcome their past inconsistencies and all be productive at once, they should prove to be a threatening force.

“This year has been so much fun because these girls work really hard and get along so well, but it has also been frustrating with all the injuries,” Bridge said. “They have had many challenges this year and have overcome them with class so I would love nothing more than to see success follow their tenacity.”

Richardson Pearce keeping routine heading into playoffs

Richardson Pearce is not changing much for the playoffs. The District 10-4A team’s playoff plan is to keep the normal routine as far as preparation is concerned.

“We will just keep pushing every day to improve," coach Jason Nicholson said. "I have some kids that are very athletic, but I have asked them to do things that they had not done a lot previously, so we really focus on lots of repetition and touches in our training.”

Nicholson has been encouraged by his team’s ability to fight through tough moments and come away with the win. Although he is aware of the intensity of the playoffs, he does not rule out impressive results.

“We could also very easily play lights out and find ourselves at the regional tournament with a chance to compete,” Nicholson said.

Perhaps Pearce’s biggest strength is that the players work together well and know that they have individual roles to fulfill for their team.

“There is talent at every position and the experience is coming with each touch," Nicholson said. "We know our system and we play as a team.”