Under New Leadership, Volleyball Wants to Spike it Up at State

With the new school year rolling around, it came as a shock to the Plano West Lady Wolves Volleyball Team that their head coach, Brittany Bridge was leaving. It was no surprise that Junior Varsity coach, Justin Waters, would take over as interim head coach. He led the JV team to the best record in district last season and is planning on doing the same this year for Varsity.

“My expectations for this season is to hopefully go undefeated at District and make a run for the State title,” Waters said. “We’re currently ranked number four in the state. We won our first two tournaments, which were super challenging and came in second at our third tournament.”

He hopes after this season, he will be officially titled to head coach.

Cera Perry-Johnson
Waters discusses strategies during the game.

“After the season is over, they are opening the job position back up and I have to reapply for it,” Waters said. “I hope that our success this season will make me a shoe-in for next year.”

Waters has had a lot of volleyball experience. He has played in college and in the years after he had graduated. He loves the sport and enjoys coaching it. He was not shy to express his gratitude for what volleyball has done for him and his career.

“I used to play sand tournaments on the weekends in high school and had a knack for it,” Waters said. “ I then walked on at the University of Texas and played outside hitter there for four years.”

Following his college years, he became a practice player for the women’s team and began to coach summer camps and club volleyball. He is going on his eighth year of coaching.

“I’m excited to be introducing new coaching styles, techniques and schemes to the girls,” Waters said. “They had a great season last year. They’re obviously super athletic and talented. They have a lot of success under their belt.”

The team is already off to a good start with lots of practice and determination. They practice every day and are a very tight-knit group in and out of practice.

Senior varsity player, Haley Hoang has been playing volleyball since first grade with friends, but has definitely loved her time with the girls from the West team.

“I love the fact that everyone is just so close-knit,” Hoang said. “We get to play the sport we love while being with our best friends.”

Cera Perry-Johnson
Varsity team huddles together during a game.

With hours of practicing and drills, the team still manages to make time and effort to get together outside of practice and school. Junior Sydney Yap loves spending time with her teammates whenever they can.

“Usually after games we go get food or ice cream,” Yap said. “We enjoy going to Menchie’s a lot.”

The team has had some impressive past seasons, records and players West has ever seen. Throughout the years, many teammates have made college commitments to continue and grow their volleyball careers. Last year, in the class of 2018, they had two college signings, [Alex Lucero (Hartford) and Sierra Cox (Amherst)]. Many more are on the rise following this season and in the upcoming years. Hoang has recently committed to Northwestern State and is beyond excited to continue playing the sport she loves.

Even with the switch up in coaching, the Lady Wolves are on track for a good season. The girls are happy Coach Waters has stepped in to help them become the best team they could possibly be.

“At first, we were all surprised and shocked at the situation but I believe it’s caused a positive outcome,” Yap said. “It’s definitely a different coaching style, but I believe we have all adapted to it and appreciated the changes he has made. We are all super excited to see what’s to come this upcoming season.”