It’s spike time |

It’s spike time

Photo by Ryan Salm/Sierra SunThe girls volleyball team practices earlier this week.

Truckee High volleyball team members have honed their focus toward the goal of a winning season, a welcome transformation from the group a year ago that squandered an 8-0 record the first half of their season with a mirror opposite 0-8 finish.

“I think it’s a lot better,” senior team member Lisa Ford said of the “attitude issues” 20-year head coach Maggie Shane blames for the mid-season collapse.

But the question remains: Is the “issue” ” which Shane said stemmed from a lack of dedication and a defiant bunch of senioritis-stricken players ” history?

“So far it hasn’t shown,” said Ford, who was part of the 2004 team. “Last year we definitely had more attitude. We just fell apart. This year I think our mental drive is a lot better.”

Jamie Evans, also a returning senior, confirmed Ford’s take on the situation.

“I think we lost our concentration,” Evans said from the sidelines of practice

Wednesday, where she was nursing a purplish-blue and swollen ankle she sprained the day before. “I don’t think it will happen again. We all want it really bad.”

In addition to rejuvenated team spirit, Ford, Evans and their coach, said this year’s squad is packed with athletic ability ” more so than last year’s talent-laden crew, which lacked only a center and middle hitter, said Shane.

Ford said this year’s team lacks nothing physically and is offensively superior to last year’s.

“I think our offense is definitely a lot better than it has been in the past,” Ford said when asked to compare teams. “Instead of having one or two good hitters, we’re all really strong on offense. And we have more consistent servers than last year.”

Shane noted that defensively there are fundamentals that need to be addressed before the start of the season, which kicks off this week with a tournament in Lowry. The season continues through October ” with 18 more games and another tournament before playoffs begin in November.

“The girls are working on becoming better defensive players,” Shane said. “We have quite a few big girls and they need to work on getting down low and digging.”

Ford thinks that all wrinkles soon will be ironed out, well in time for post-season play.

“We’ll make it to playoffs this year,” she said.

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