The News Source of Plano East Senior High School

Panther Prints

The News Source of Plano East Senior High School

Panther Prints

The News Source of Plano East Senior High School

Panther Prints

Volleyball Team Serves Up Their Best Season Yet

Megan Glass

With a record of 19-8, the varsity volleyball team asserts their dominance. For the first time in 15 years, the team expects to go to playoffs, as they compete with the number one standing in the district and top scorers across all categories. With the motivation from their coaches, they celebrate their first win at districts following Friday’s game.

“We drop a lot of energy [on the court], so I’m really excited about that,” head volleyball coach Sarah Perez said.I’m excited about our potential. We start district on Friday and we have the potential to do really well.”

With a spark of energy, each teammate works together for the same goal. Their shared goal allows them to flourish on and off the court. The players wake up early every day to practice diligently to be prepared for the next district game this Tuesday. With practice starting at 7:00 a.m, the players come in ready to improve.

 “I think that every win is putting it into our mind that we’re gonna dominate districts,” senior Sarah Parr said. “We’ve already beaten our winning record from last year.”

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The team currently has a .68 winning record compared to a .56 record from last year. With districts starting on Friday, the players plan to set a precedent of dominance. Across the board, each player has their strong points as they work together to complement their weak points.

 “Our success in the early season shows that we only lost seven games which is a big deal compared to last year,”  junior Grace Mcdonald said. “This was our first year going to the UT Austin tournament. We did well compared to what other people thought, we ranked the best out of our whole district.”

 Returning from their first major tournament at UT Austin two weeks ago, the team now preps for districts, hoping  to win as many games early on as possible to set their standing in the playoffs. The team must score in the top four at districts in order to advance to playoffs; the win-loss record during regular season and district determines the playoff schedule. 

“Every morning [when] they show up for practice, ready to work, [that] motivates me,” Perez said “ Every time that they ask questions, dig deeper and want to go further and get better, that motivates me to keep going.” 

With role models on the team and players already committed to playing Division 1, an elite professional league in college, the players constantly improve their skills. As Division 1 scouts pick from the best of the best, they scout for the top scorers across all categories. Some will appear at districts, looking for the best players to promote their schools, offering them the opportunity to play for their college on a full athletic scholarship.

“Winning really drives a lot of them,” Perez said. “ We have a lot of really competitive people that want to see success. I think, then losing the games that we’ve lost, really encourages them to reflect and push themselves to be better so that we can continue to win.”  

With districts starting  and each player keeping a positive attitude, the team will go far as expected. Success comes with an immense amount of practice, tears, and sweat that not everyone pays attribute to. The players continue to work hard, despite their drawbacks.

“I watched one of their games last year; it was probably my first time watching women’s volleyball,”  Ononye said. “I had straight goosebumps and I’m emotionally invested in the team. So when we do win or lose, I’m always invested in it.”

Competition is a great factor in a drive to shoot for success. Their fierceness as a team allows them to come together at games. Volleyball is known as a team sport, each working part adds to a different part of the game. If one part of the team isn’t on par with the other then the team will be less successful, but they still expect to push through.

“I’m really optimistic for what’s going to happen at districts,” Ononye said. “If we’re able to hang like the top teams and some of the most competitive tournaments, then, we’re going to go far.” 

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About the Contributors
Sharlene Kiefer, Reporter
Shar Kiefer is a senior at Plano East this year, and she is a reporter for Panther Prints this year.  She enjoys writing, reading, doing speech and debate, and playing with her cat, Barry Allen. Her hobbies include author work, reading manga, anything with cats, and reading anything by Junji Ito. Her extracurriculars include speech and debate and NHS. She is a nationally renowned writer and speaker, and is very excited to write this year. Read Panther Prints.
Megan Glass, Reporter
Megan Glass is a junior at Plano East and is a part of the newspaper staff this year! She loves writing creative stories, baking, and meeting new people! Her passion is photography and she hopes to expand her art into newspaper this year by pairing her writing skills with her photos. She loves to play the acoustic guitar, electric bass and cello. Thrifting is her favorite hobby to pass the time she doesn't spend studying, along with listening to music (she loves rock!) She is super excited to be in newspaper this year and gain new experiences.