Volleyball Takes On Head Coach’s Former Team, Defeats Them

The Lady Wolves faced their rivals, Plano Senior, at home this Tuesday, Sept., 13  in a head to head battle marking the second district game of the season. This game was particularly heated, as new head coach Cooper Phillips, former Plano Senior Coach, faced his former team for the first time.

Ranked number three in the 6A Region I District 6 and with a 17-2 win-loss streak, this season is already looking good for the Lady Wolves, and the season has barely started. With a home court advantage, strategic prowess, and a new coach, this week’s game was in West’s favor. 

“Our serving and passing is lightyears beyond what it was and our ‘out of system’ is getting better with every touch,” said Phillips. “My biggest hope is for us to play good volleyball and know that we are capable of it all the time.” Out of system play refers to when the placement of the ball limits the options for the setter, because of who touches the ball first or where the ball is in relation to the net.

Packed student stands mixed with a passionate atmosphere instilled the players with excitement and energy. After an excellent turnout on West’s home game versus Flower Mound, they were excited for Tuesday’s game and cheering fans. 

“I’m most excited for playing our rival team at home this week,” said Blaire Bayless, a Senior outside hitter for Plano West. “JV cheer, mixed with football and student supporters will help us have lots of energy on the court.”

Coach Phillips is grateful for the support he’s gotten so far this season. With Assistant Coach Claudia Paiz, who has been with Plano West Volleyball for two years, the dynamic duo keep each other in line and work hand in hand to remind themselves and athletes that West Volleyball is elite. 

“I like to win. There will always be a soft spot for some of those athletes, but that goes away on Tuesday night,” said Phillips. “I predict [Plano Senior] will come out with everything they can give in an effort to take us down. They played their hardest against West last year and I expect the same this season.”

Going from assistant coaching to head coaching was a big change for Philips. 

“There has been more pressure walking into the gym everyday because of the history of greatness this program has had,” says Philips. “[But] I bleed blue now. Beat the Wildcats.”