Ready, set, spike


There’s a lot of leadership on the volleyball court at Mustang Gym this year, and Head Coach Melissa Padgett is not complaining.

She is, however, losing her voice.

“I don’t know how to be quiet,” the coach joked during a quick break at two-a-days last week.

Although the workouts have been tough, the girls have a good time and seem ready for the upcoming season, which kicked off with a home game vs. A&M Consolidated on Tuesday.

“We have a few old injuries but we’re 10 times healthier than we were last year,” Padgett said.

Starters include seniors Camryn Frederick, Quincey Surface, Lexi Leveston, Tra’Dayja Smith and Tyana Brown, along with Chloe Olvera and Kaylee Reynolds.

“They’re looking fantastic,” Padgett said. “They’re killing the conditioning workouts. They’re hungry and excited. They’re not having to relearn anything from last year.”

Frederick echoed that the team is in lockstep now that they’ve completed a full season with Padgett.

“We’ve gotten used to her style and how she wants us to play,” Frederick said.

Surface said they don’t have any particular rivalries, and they’re looking forward to facing all their opponents this year. The girls have been guzzling jugs of water in order to stay hydrated during two-a-days, which include four-hour morning practices and three-hour afternoon practices.

Joining Padgett on the coaching staff this year are Hannah Hays, Jo Dorman and former college volleyball player Robin Conger.

The team will be playing some tough opponents during their pre-district schedule, including A&M Consolidated and Caldwell.

“We’re not so much trying to get wins; we’re trying to prepare ourselves for district,” Padgett said. “Tyana Brown and Lexi [Leveston] will be big for us on the front row. Tyana is leading the team in everything – in the gym, in conditioning, vocally, spiritually.”

The coach has a special bond with the young women.

“I’ve had a lot of success in my four years as a coach, but I’ve never been more excited about a team,” Padgett said. “It is a pleasure to coach them.”