Summer is officially over for the Waxahachie Lady Indians volleyball team.

The squad got back on the court at Solis Gymnasium for three hours Monday afternoon for the first time of the fall semester.

Waxahachie Lady Indian coach Sandy Faussett is always excited about this time of year and this year is no different.

“We had a great first day,” Faussett said. “The kids in our program have always done a great job of coming back in shape and once again we were not disappointed.”

Most of the players play on club teams during the summer, so they don’t really have time to get out of shape. But even with that much volleyball, the coach isn’t worried about the players getting burned out on it.

“If they come back out of shape at all, it could lead to injuries and we don’t have to worry about that,” Faussett said. “There is a little break built in to the club schedule, but we tell them to take a break from volleyball, but not from being in shape.”

The players already seemed to be in midseason form after their first three-hour practice.

Monday was the last first day of practice for most of the Lady Indians as 10 seniors will be playing their final season for Waxahachie.

“They’ve been pumped for this year since spring break of last year,” Faussett said of her seniors. “I think we had our best offseason program this year of any other year we’ve had. I feel like we gained more strength in the weight room and all in all, it was a very beneficial offseason.”

Two of those players entering their final season are school record holders Celi Bruce (digs in a season) and Courtney Miller (kills in a season).

While Faussett said the entire team did a great job on the first day, two returning varsity players stood out to her.

“Ellen (Platt) has done a really good job. We got to see her play at a clinic last week and she did a great job,” Faussett said. “Lindsey (Griffith) looks great. She’s very physical and can jump really well and she was pounding the ball hard today.”

Other returning players that shined Monday were Cristian Armstrong and Lauren Atkins.

This team is poised to have a great season after losing just one player off a team that reached the regional semifinals for the third straight season. They are already being recognized for it as they debuted at No. 9 in the Texas Girls Coaches Association state poll last week.

While it’s great to be recognized, Faussett doesn’t mind slipping under people’s radars as well.

“You kind of want to see your name on there, but you kind of don’t because you want to sneak up on people,” Faussett said. “But we keep that in perspective because the only number that really matters is where you end up in November.”

The Lady Indians will get their first taste of game action at 9 a.m. Friday when they play scrimmages at Duncanville versus the hosting team and Mesquite Horn.

Waxahachie will then play another scrimmage at Plano West at 10 a.m. Saturday. The first real match of the season will be during a dual meet at Wylie versus Wylie and McKinney beginning at 5 p.m. Aug. 13.

Waxahachie will be home for the first time against Waco Midway at 5 p.m. Aug. 27. That game starts the toughest stretch of the season for the Lady Indians as it begins a stretch of 10 games against teams that made the postseason a year ago.

The Lady Indians will then participate in the Arlington Invitational, always tough opponents there, then host Mansfield Timberview and Midlothian before visiting Highland Park. District then begins Sept. 13 with a home match versus Red Oak and then the Lady Indians host Mansfield Legacy.

“We always say that we don’t get any better by playing lesser teams,” Faussett said. “We want to play the best and if you want to get the best out of your team, you have to play tough opponents.”