Head volleyball coach Prentice Lewis paced back and forth along the sideline. She glared at her players when they made a mistake and wasn’t afraid to make her point known.
Although this was only an exhibition match against the TCU alumni squad, Lewis displayed extreme intensity. Such devotion was the reason for one of the squad’s most successful seasons last year along and even higher expectations for the 2010 season.
“We don’t play any games for fun. I think I couldn’t do that; I’m too serious of a person,” Lewis said after her varsity team’s victory Saturday night in what was the first and only tune-up match before next week’s season opener.
The team won 27 matches last year but lost three key players: Katelyn Blackwood, Kourtney Edwards and Lauren Otto. Lewis is expecting seniors Irene Hester and Christy Hudson to step up and fill the leadership void left by those three.
Hester is the leader among a group of very good outside hitters, something Lewis said the team hasn’t had in the past.
“It’s great to have outside hitters that can put the ball away,” Lewis said.
Hudson, on the other hand, will anchor the middle after earning AVCA Honorable Mention All-American honors in 2009.
As for the rest of the team, Lewis said she is pleased with the progress she has seen in several players during the Horned Frogs’ two-a-day workouts in the past two weeks.
“We have found some surprising people that have stood out and it’s one of those things that we have to see how they do when we get in a real match,” Lewis said.
Those players’ inexperience will be put to the test early as the team heads to the University of Texas tournament on Friday where they will face what Lewis said she thinks will be rejuvenated University of Houston, University of Texas and McNeese State. Texas, ranked third nationally, eliminated TCU in the second round of the NCAA tournament last year and made it all the way to the NCAA Championship game before losing to top-seeded Penn State.
TCU vs. Houston
Time: 12 p.m.
Date: Friday, Aug. 27
Place: Austin, Texas