JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas –
After posting a 4-17 record last year, the Eagles are looking forward to a turnaround season, according to Stacey High School Head Varsity Volleyball Coach Amber Greeness.
The Eagles opened the District 29-2A season Aug. 12 against Cole High School with a 3-1 loss. The team played in District 29-A last season, and moved up to 29-2A following University Interscholastic League realignment in February.
Greeness expects the Eagles, including eight new players from all four grade levels, to make the playoffs for the first time since 2009 -- if they develop team chemistry.
"We have a strong freshman class," the coach said. "If they can gain some experience, then we should be all right."
One player who Greeness is counting on for veteran leadership is senior Alexandria Suglia, the only returning player from last year's team.
Suglia, who made District 29-A All-District Volleyball First Team in 2013, took on a leadership role by organizing a summer camp at the school's gym. Her goal? To build unity and improve from last year.
She said being the only returning player allowed her to naturally step into a leadership role. "I love being a leader and being successful," Suglia said.
Greeness explained she is impressed with her veteran player's leadership skills.
"She's positive and encouraging, and that plays a big part," the coach said. "We have to have strong leadership, especially with such an inexperienced team. She is doing a great job."
The players' dedication to having an improved year is why the Eagles will be successful, the senior explained.
"The girls didn't have to come to the camp this summer; it wasn't mandatory," said Suglia. "[The girls coming anyway] shows dedication and the will to want to succeed."
Greeness agrees. "The team wants to come together to be successful," the coach said.
"Every year, I have had captains that have held volleyball camps, but this is the first year that everyone came out. It shows that they want to turn things around, and that will lead to success."