Looking at the Valkyries record it would be easy to say that the season has been unimpressive. On paper anything can look deceiving. Losing several talented players last season created questions to be answered for the team this season. After looking at the team at camp during the preseason, the coaches started to see some serious potential and redefined the expectations for this group of girls.
Because the last two seasons were so successful, we were invited into tournaments with some serious upper level teams. While you can learn a tremendous amount from better teams, it can be frustrating. The individual talent of the players is certainly there, the team has been trying to develop the intangibles that can add immeasurable value to a team. The coaches will tell you they are just waiting for those chemistry and team tidbits to develop and set in.
This weekend the team went to Bath County High School to participate in the Citizen Bank Throwdown Tournament. “We were placed in the toughest pool. It was clear that they were not separated out evenly and we’re not even upset. We want to take on the tough teams. We want to see where we stack up.” Coach Coyle, assistant for the team, complimented the team’s aggressive and competitive drive to play some of the best.
The team went 1-2 in pool play beating George Rogers Clark in their first match in a tough three match battle. It was a great performance considering the team has a tradition of struggling early in morning play. They then fell to Dixie Heights and Pikeville, losing all four sets collectively. Both teams are the top of their regions and excellent teams. The team had streaks of brilliance, but most importantly it exposed our weaknesses in both our technical play, but also in the intangibles. The team was able to sit down, hash a few things out and set some new team goals.
From there the team was placed in the silver bracket for tournament play. From the beginning, you could tell the team reacted differently. First up on the chopping block was Mason County who didn’t score over 12 points in either set of a 2-0 win for the Valkyries. Even with several unforced errors on the team, the game was very one sided.
Next the team took on the East Carter squad. With a new style of applying a set defense, the Valkyries dismantled the other team without much resistance. East did manage to play some outstanding defense and win the second set before the Valkyries quickly finished off the team only scoring 4 points.
The championship game ended up being a camp rival Powell County. Powell was a small team and the Valkyries used their size advantage. They finished off Powell in 2 sets (25-15, 25-16) to win the silver championship.
It has been a rough season so far, but with the huge strides this weekend, the coaching staff is incredibly hopeful that the team is on an up swing. The team is really pressing hard as they start the meat of the regional play and move closer to postseason.
The team will face district rival Fleming on Thursday. Come out and see the Valkyries.