Two-a-days: Glen Rose volleyball returns to the court

Travis M. Smith -- @travis5mith
Head Coach Sandy Langford addresses her team during day-two of their two-a-day practices.

Two points. Two whole points and a late 3-0 run punched the Brock Lady Eagles’ ticket to the 3A state tournament, and ended the Lady Tigers’ historic season in heartbreak. However, there is no time left to dwell on last year’s 25-17, 21-25, 19-25, 25-23, 13-15 loss in the 3A Regional Championship, and second-year Head Coach Sandy Langford's squad has shown-up to the first week of practice with a newfound intensity.

“They are more focused this year, they were driven last year too, but this year looks different,” Langford said. “I came in with some high expectations last year – different than they have had, but this year they know exactly what it feels like and what I expect, and they want to go beyond that.

“We lost a lot last year, but we have some seniors -- and a setter, who had the same taste as last year’s team. We all saw what happened, experienced what happened, and I think they know now that since they have been there that they know what to expect. They are more driven than ever.”

It is hard to decide if falling just short of a state tournament bid or knowing the expectations of their head coach is responsible for the Lady Tigers reporting to two-a-days more prepared physically, but they are. This year’s team showed-up on Monday morning in better shape than last summer, and ready to get the season – which starts in less-than-a-week, started.

“We came into two-a-days last year, and the girls weren’t real prepared, just because of how they had prepared in the past,” Langford said. “Now it’s a little more intense and different, and strenuous. This year it seems like they have come in, in a lot better shape, and so we are getting through the conditioning a lot faster which is allowing us to play a lot more volleyball.”

The Lady Tigers had a strong showing during their summer league and tournaments – and while Langford was there to watch, because of UIL rules that is all she was able to do. No coaching, no instruction, no fun for the Lady Lions’ coach. To say she is excited to remove herself from the bleachers and return to the hardwood, would probably be an understatement.

“It feels good to be back out here,” said Langford with a huge grin. “I’ve watched them as they pretty much played all through July. They had two camps, an entire summer league, and some tournaments, but during all of those I’ve had to sit and watch, so it has been nice to finally get back in and correct some of the things I have been seeing all summer.”

“Our first scrimmages are this weekend. We have six teams coming on Friday, and two other teams coming on Saturday. Then we go to Western Hills, and then the Denton Ryan tournament. This is the first year that I am taking these girls to Denton Ryan. It is really fast paced 5- and 6A schools, you know last year we went to the Argyle tournament which is really fast paced, but we had two tournaments to get used to it before we went, but this year, we are just going to jump into it with the Denton tournament.”

Games this weekend start at 9, and the ladies will – for the most part, play every other game throughout the day, however, they will have a few back-to-back games scattered in the mix. Varsity will be in the red gym, JV will play in the arena, and freshman will either be in the intermediate or middle school, Langford said.

Key losses from 2014 – Cheyenne Lytle, Kelsey Potter, Meredith Odom.

Key returners in 2015 – Sophie Bozarth (Jr.), Olivia Bonz (Sr.), Madi Gibson (Jr.), Sabrina Watson (Jr.).