The Plano West Volleyball Girls Set Up the Road to Victory

Malvika Mahendhra, Staff Writer

The Plano West Lady Wolves of volleyball began their new fall season with a team filled with new and familiar faces and hope to conquer their goals and set even higher expectations.

“We have a really young team, so in some ways we are the underdog in a lot of different matches,” senior Sierra Cox said. “Going to the playoffs would show how all our hard work paid off.”

The volleyball team this year consists of girls who are seniors and juniors, as well as sophomores and freshmen. However, the relationships within the team are strong and continuously grow with every game.

“Those girls end up being really good friends,” Coach Brittany Bridge said. “It end up being their team on and off the court.”

Finding activities and allocating time to spend with the team as whole, creates an atmosphere of trust and comfort for the team.

“Every year, we do something called senior kidnapping,” Bridge said. “The seniors plan an organized day full of activities to bond and get to know each other.”

The strong relationship the team has with each other also extends to Coach Bridge. For some of these girls, Coach Bridge is more than just a coach.

“I have a group of seniors that I have known since they were eight years old,” Bridge said. “They have become almost like little sisters to me.”

Becoming better as a team starts with players growing individually. For these girls, accepting your mistakes and building off of them is the only way a team can succeed.

“We have to accept criticism from our teammates,” senior Paige Koepke said. “Of course it hurts to hear I am not doing that well, but I know they are trying to help me.”

Winning games can make the team feel ecstatic, and while losing can feel bitter, the team uses every loss as an opportunity to learn.

“It is hard when we lose,” Cox said. “But we sleep on it and come back in the morning and work hard to fix what we did wrong.”

This season some of the best moments have been tasting victory after countless practices.

“We had just come off two losses before winning fifth at Circle of Champions,” Cox said. “At that tournament we really came together and found our rhythm.”

The favorite memories do not always come from games, but sometimes the small moments when the team is together.

“It is the little things,” Bridge said. “Like on the bus or eating team meals together.”

The girls on this team all have different positions and skills, but dedication is the unifying factor in them.

“Hard work is what Bridge expects from us,” Koepke said. “It does not matter if it is a win or a loss as long as you tried your hardest.”

These girls do not only learn lessons relating to volleyball, but lessons they can apply to their daily lives.

“I get to teach them volleyball,” Bridge said. “But also how to shake somebody’s hand and look them in the eye.”

Knowing the plays are important during a game, but equally important is the attitude you have while playing.

“You always have to keep your head high,” Koepke said. “You always have to stay positive, too.”

While the season has just begun, these girls will end the season with mastered skills and have learned the biggest truth in life.

“There is no limitation in life,” Bridge said. “If you work hard at anything, you are going to be successful.”