Victoria West at home on the road
Sept. 19, 2010 at 4:19 a.m.
Victoria West volleyball have not been a gracious guest of many teams this year.
They've redefined the term "Road Warriors," with an astonishing record on the road of 20-4, including a win at the Sealy tournament and concellation at San Marcos.
Their record at home in that same timeframe? Just 1-1, with an asterisk.
They opened the season at home against El Campo, but couldn't play in their own gym because it was still technically under construction. They had to play at the old Memorial Gym.
They lost their first match in five sets to the Ladybirds, but the issues that affected them in that match have been resolved, their coach said.
"We had no identity yet," said coach Sandy Longoria. "They know each other, but they hadn't played varsity together. Since that game, we've worked that out."
And in a big way, too.
The Warriors caught fire in the non-district season and are looking to translate that momentum to the start of District 30-4A play, which starts Tuesday at home against Gregory-Portland.
"I think we're all just focusing on what we have to do," said libero Sarah Hermes. "Before the game, Coach Longoria is always telling us to focus, and to play our game and not to play with the other team."
A big part of the Warriors success so far has been the focusing on playing good defense and keeping their energy on the court high.
West is a young team. They have only one of Memorial's former starters - Jessica Mickey - who also is the only senior on the team.
That doesn't mean they are unfamiliar with each other.
"It was tough with only one senior, but a lot of us have played together on JV too," said junior Kelly Fowler.
The Warriors finally got a chance to play at their own gym last Friday in a four-game victory over Sweeny.
But playing in their own gym may present a whole new set of challenges. District play will be the first time they play consistently in their gym.
"It works both ways, they might feel added pressure since they are a young team," Longoria said. "It's going to be interesting to see how they react to a crowd our gym full of fans."
So far, they've passed that test with flying colors.