By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

GROVETON – The Groveton Lady Indians are looking to do something no other volleyball team from Groveton has done. The Lady Indians are looking to three-peat as district champions and Head Coach Edgar Vander Stucken believes he has the right team in place.

When asked about returning players, the coach said, “We only have three. We only have three varsity returners. We graduated a lot of varsity talent – both of our setters, all three of our outside hitters, our libero and our DS,” he said.

“The name of the game for us is kind of a next up mentality. Even though there are no injuries, we graduated a lot of talent. There are a lot of new faces,” Vander Stucken said.

Despite having only four seniors on the squad, the coach feels one of his team’s strengths will be leadership.

“You may think after losing so many seniors to graduation, you would see a drop-off in leadership. But – last year’s juniors are communicators. If something is not going right on the court, they pick the other girls up and keep them in the game, mentally. They will come up high-five them and pat them on the back in order to keep their focus on the game,” he said.

Coachability of the younger players is also a strong suit of this year’s team, especially for the younger players.

“They understand the speed of the game. There is a huge difference between junior varsity and varsity, but that’s in any sport,” he said.

Commenting on an area the team needs to work on, Vander Stucken explained communication and inexperience at the varsity level are parts of the game where his team needs more focus.

“It’s not a level of inexperience at the game, they are all very experienced at playing volleyball. It’s more a level of experience and the speed of the game at the varsity level,” he said.

The Lady Indians are in District 23-2A along with: the Colmesneil Lady Bulldogs; the Apple Springs Lady Eagles; the Chester Lady Yellowjackets; the Goodrich Lady Hornets; and the Kennard Lady Tigers.

Players to watch for include: Eden Dillard; Jordan Brooks; Madison Turner; and Alex Gonzales.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.