Cowgirls come a long way from beginning of the season

Keldy  Ortiz

Oct. 15, 2013 at 5:15 a.m.

Tidehaven's Melanie Brewer sets the ball during the first game of Tuesday's match at Edna High School. The Cowgirls defeated the Tigerettes 25-5, 25-8, 25-10.

Tidehaven's Melanie Brewer sets the ball during the first game of Tuesday's match at Edna High School. The Cowgirls defeated the Tigerettes 25-5, 25-8, 25-10.   Angeli Wright for The Victoria Advocate

EDNA - Drew Ganem doesn't take Edna volleyball games for granted.

For the senior, it wasn't too long ago when the team struggled to perform on the court. Fortunately for the Cowgirls, those days no longer exist.

At Tuesday's game against Tidehaven, the 23rd ranked Cowgirls (24-10, 10-1) in Class 2A celebrated their 24th win in three sets 25-5, 25-8, 25-10.

The Tigerettes didn't score more than 10 points in all three sets.

"We were nothing like this. We started out with a big struggle," Ganem, a two-year starter recalled. "We've come a really long way. "

Only a sophomore, Haleigh Evans said the team believes that this year, a memorable run can be accomplished.

It's Evans' second year on varsity, and she wants to do well for the seniors.

"They're smarter, and they know a lot more. It helps us out on the court," Evans said. "We're trying to beat our goal from last year and get to the regional tournament."

Senior Madison Kucera has been on the varsity team since she was a freshman.

Before coach Rachel Collins arrived to the team, the Cowgirls didn't play to their potential, Kucera said. She recalled that the team was competitive in her freshman year but didn't go far that season.

"Looking back, there's been a huge difference," said Kucera, who is considering going to the University of Houston or Sam Houston State University to play volleyball. "We have to work hard in practice."

Since the changing of coaches, Kucera said the practices are different, and the team's ability to play together is nothing like her previous years with the Cowgirls.

"Because we had a different coach, it was a lot of a transition," she said. "We had a really good team my freshman year," but the team was not able to progress as much as it wanted to, Kucera said.

Collins, in her second year as Cowgirls coach, was impressed with the team's performance. Tuesday's game was a reminder of how the Cowgirls have improved after struggling in the early part of their season.

"We've had some lows, mentally - like not staying on top of our game," Collins said. "There's so much talent on the team."

The Cowgirls are not only relieved to have a winning record, but they're also thankful for their coach.

"It has a lot to do with coach Collins," Ganem said. "She stepped in as a new coach and helped us."

Collins, an Industrial graduate, has enjoyed the success of coaching a team with the potential to succeed.

"It makes me feel good. Last year, we accomplished so much," Collins said. "I want to do better than what we did last year. It's a really good group of girls. They just needed to rein in their talents."

The Cowgirls hope to have a long run once the season concludes and playoffs begin.

"Being able to work with talented girls is fun," Collins said. "They learn, and then they execute it."



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