Sandies seek consistency on court
Aug. 17, 2010 at 3:17 a.m.
PORT LAVACA - Kathy Hellums isn't sure which team is going to show up from night to night.
Over the weekend, the second-year coach for the Calhoun Sandies watched her team win two games at the Industrial tournament in Vanderbilt and finish second.
Then came a low point: Losing six of seven games in two matches Tuesday at home to Rockport-Fulton and Cuero.
The Sandies have thus far been maddeningly inconsistent on the court, something an official who worked both the tournament and Tuesday mentioned to Hellums.
"She said this isn't even the same team, and it wasn't," said the second year coach for the Sandies.
Calhoun is rebuilding from the ground up after losing nine players from last year's varsity squad, which finished second in District 30-4A. So far, the results have been mixed.
Consistency across the board is one of her main concerns, but especially involving some the team's young setters, Tallen Hermes and Jayda Barton.
"They are young, both of them are new to varsity not even in the playoffs," she said. "We've got to work on consistently passing to them so they can get it to the right people so they can knock it down."
The seniors on the team find themselves in an odd position, with success last year and in the middle of a team almost starting over this year.
"It's been slow so far, I know after a while and once the season starts going, we'll pick it up," said senior libero Rilea Whitaker. "We've just been on and off."
Senior Kara Whitson said the team has a lot of talent, but is still working on utilizing it, and she's working on helping the younger players utilize that skill while improving herself.
"We have a lot of talent and we want to use it," she said. "I'm still working on being consistent myself. I'm just working on being a leader and a cheerleader, and we're trying to use the talent we have."
Whitaker said the team is still figuring out how play together as a team.
"When we are on our game, when we're ready to play, we're going to be tough to beat," she said. "We have six strong hitters and a good back row and defense."
Hellums said the team has a lot of power, but it's still learning how to put it to good and productive use.
"Believe it or not, we're young, but we hit pretty well when we can get everything in sync," she said. "So far we have yet to put our whole game together. We're young, but we're beating ourselves right now too."
The landscape in the district has also changed. Hellums said she thinks the Sandies have a chance at competing in District 30-4A, but will need to keep improving.
"Victoria East has a lot of seniors, and we saw them all summer in summer league," she said. "We're going to have to step up our game to even compete."
But the road back this season will start with the team coming together, she said.
"I feel there's no energy out on the court," Hellums said. "I feel like there's six individuals and no team."
There's a plan for that.
"In practice, we're going to start, after everything we do, we're going to come together, we're going to hoop and holler with just us in here," Hellums said. "And if we don't, there's going to be consequences until we learn to play through the good and the bad."
Rockport-Fulton 3, Calhoun 1
Highlights: Leah Sparks 9 kills; Melinda Ortiz 6 kills, 3 blocks; Jayda Barton 13 assists; Rilea Whitaker 2 aces, 29 digs.
Cuero 3, Calhoun 0
Highlights: (CUE) Kelsey Washington 20 kills, 2 blocks, 3 digs; Victoria Weisman 35 assists, 1 block, 2 assists; Abby Sheppard 9 kills, 1 block, 1 dig; (CAL) Kelsey King 2 aces, 8 digs; Sage Sexton 6 kills; Jayda Barton 14 assists; Rilea Whitaker 10 digs; Melinda Ortiz 2 blocks. Records: Cuero 5-6, Calhoun 2-5.