By Cindy Luis
Was unable to make it to Monday's practice, which was the first with school in session. They are back in Gym 1 at least until Wednesday morning. Either Wednesday or Thursday they'll return to the Sheriff Center where they'll hold afternoon practices and establish the usual routine for weekday matches.
Will start by saying Shoji has not named a starting lineup. Said the competition was too close still and he's told the team that who starts Friday might necessarily be in at the end, or be starting Saturday. He does know he has to put in a lineup card prior to the first whistle Friday '-)
At this point, I don't know either other than Hartong, Uiato and Longo.
Practice included a lengthy session of 'baseball' with three teams rotating between being 'at bat' (offense, scoring runs) and being 'in the field (defense, making putouts) It looks like a scrimmage but they have set plays were they specifically work with hitters and middles with repetitions. I.E. a player hitting left side 4-5 consecutive times
and it also allows for the coaches to look at blocking pairings on certain rotations. On one team, it was Long and Adolpho stacked on the left side ... with Adolpho and Goodman stacked on the right side.
Some reminders during the practice included that the hitters not rely on tipping, especially against Texas, which jumps very well, instead to hit hard and smart; And to not anticipate that the opponent will not be able to make a good play coming out of a broken one (bad pass), that they have to always be back and ready to play on defense.
Continued to be impressed by how well Tuaniga moves, the progress of the freshmen Taylor and Higgins. For a big girl, Taylor has very nice hands and has taken the second ball with authority, setting well to the left back and cross court while in the front row.
There were a lot of long rallies and all teams played well in transition.
Manu-Olevao made quick adjustments when being critiqued. She was blocked when trying to hit line against Tuaniga and Taylor; next play, she hit sharp angle inside of Tuaniga for a successful kill. Long also took some big swings on the left and continues to look good there. Vorster ran some inside slides that were very effective, connected well with both setters on the 'quicks.' hit some heavy balls, too.
couple of plays that drew some cheers: Goodman's solo stuff of Taylor and Vorster's solo of Hartong's 3-meter attack.
Think that's about it from this morning. Ann will have a story in Wednesday's paper, which will include our 'special preview'. Not the big magazine, sadly, from the past. but hope you'll like what we've come up with.