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Ladycat Volleyball Team Hosts Waldron

BY RICK WRIGHT –

“We’ve come a long way,” said Ladycat Head Volleyball Coach Brad Lyle. “This was our fourth Team Camp that we’ve been to. The first was really ugly, the second was pretty ugly and then by the end of the third one, which was a four-day camp, I started to see the promise that I know is there.”

Lyle continued, “at times we played really good. We played Siloam, which was the best team here and just gave them the first game the first time we played them because we missed eight serves, and lost by two,” said Lyle. “We weren’t suppose to play them again but then another team decided they didn’t want to play them and asked if we wanted to. I said ‘yes’ and we beat them 25-15 the first game. We let up a little bit and lost the second game 25-21.”

Lyle stated that keeping the team “focused and mentally into the game” has been the biggest challenge so far. “It’s about the third or fourth time we’ve beat a good team in game one, and then just relax. That’s a mental toughness thing we’ve been really harping on. I know we’re young. Even some of our seniors are young, because they haven’t played varsity ball. I know we’re going to be playing way better ball late than early. They haven’t been a successful enough team to be able to think, ‘Oh we got this.’ We are going to be good if we stay focused. It’s good to see that now and know we can fix it so they don’t have a false sense of comfort. So a lot of really positive things and a lot of really frustrating things.”

Lyle explained that because of the success of his volleyball program the last few years, this team is undergoing a lot of scrutiny. “A lot of coaches… really just eyeballing us, watching us because we’ve been really good,” said Lyle. “I think some of those teams are hoping we’re not going to be. Huntsville invited us up there for the reason, they wanted to see us. It was kind of frustrating we didn’t play well, but then maybe we can use that to our advantage; they may overlook us if they see us later. I’ve known all along it’s going to be October when this team really peaks.”

Focus is something Lyle says he drills in at every practice and scrimmage. “I thought we had a great practice today,” said Lyle. “In the Waldron scrimmage, we just dominated them the first two games, then we let up. But, we didn’t let up and lose. I thought we took a step forward there. They are aware of it; I remind them of it about 10 times a day.”

Lyle added that he is anxious to see the team’s focus during an actual game. “We’ve not played a real game yet,” said Lyle. “This up and down, relaxing at times maybe its something they would never do in front of a real crowd against a real team, maybe they’ve got this. But I’ve seen enough tendencies to know that this is an area we’ve got to work on.”

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