Lady Pam Pack spikers ready for turnaround|Open season Monday at home vs. Southside

Published 12:03 pm Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sports Editor

Getting off to a solid start would do wonders for the Washington Lady Pam Pack volleyball team. After going winless in the previous two seasons, and finishing a combined 1-48 over the past three seasons, a win early on is vital.
“It’s very important,” said Blaklee Wolfe, one of two seniors on the Washington squad. “If we win and see that we can do it, that will just help with the confidence a lot. It’s really important to start out good.”
Washington gets its first test Monday as the Southside Lady Seahawks come to town. The match begins at 5:30 p.m.
Tara Hunter, in her second season with the Lady Pack, said the team had a solid summer. She’s hoping her nine players can build off that.
“We went to a team camp at the end of July at UNC and took third in our bracket,” Hunter said. “That was big for us. We even beat the Havelock team that was there, so that was kind of fun.
“We’re getting used to this idea of winning. Getting that first win against Southside would be huge for us.”
Now that Hunter is back for a second season, the players know what to expect from her, and she knows what to expect from them.
“I think that’s huge,” Hunter said. “Last year was definitely a building year for not only me getting to know them and them getting to know me, but for the Washington volleyball program in general. Now that we have this year of experience under our belt, along with winter ball and going to the team camp, we’re just clicking right along.”
Hunter said practice has been going well, but the team still needs to iron out a few things.
“We’re looking okay,” Hunter said. “We have a few weak points, but we’re slowly but surely working on that. We have a young squad again this year, but the girls are working hard.”
Wolfe, who is hoping to play in college next year, said she’s seen progress from her team.
“I’ve seen a lot of improvement,” Wolfe said. “I think we’re working good as a team. Our hitting is a lot better and, with passing, we’re getting it to our target a lot of times.”
Racheal Toler, Washington’s other senior, said team chemistry will benefit the Lady Pack this year.
“We’re all really close and that helps,” Toler said. “I think we’ve improved a lot. We have good sportsmanship and we get along.”
Hunter said that serving will be a strength for Washington.
“We have some really powerful, dead-on serves,” Hunter said. “We have power; we just need to learn to control that power.”
The second-year coach that her nine players must remember to talk while they’re on the floor.
“Communication is a concern,” Hunter said. “We seem to forget that we need to talk all the time. Everybody needs to remember to talk all the time.”
The Lady Pack begins Coastal Conference play Aug. 27 at home against Jacksonville. Jacksonville and White Oak replaces J.H. Rose and New Bern in the Coastal, making it strictly a Class 3-A conference.
“I’m sad to see Rose go because they are such a good competitor,” Hunter said. “We’re not quite there to that Rose level of competition. I know White Oak went somewhat far in their conference last year, and I haven’t heard much about Jacksonville.”
Hunter said the team is ready for the season to begin.
“We’re excited to get going,” Hunter said. “We’re going to be dynamic. It should be good. We’re definitely on the rise.”