What might have been a setback to a lesser team, turned into a strength for the Lady Indians Friday.
On the road and having two key pieces missing practices during the week didn’t adversely affect Waxahachie as it swept Terrell 25-8, 25-6, 25-10.
Lady Indians (28-3, 6-0 in 15-4A) head coach Sandy Faussett said these minor setbacks actually helped her team concentrate.
“That's the first time I've cut up the lineup and actually have it work right off the bat,” Faussett said. “We've run the same set, but then we get here and we've had Kate (Praslicka) out the last couple days and (Lacie Tucker) was out with an injury. So I had to come up with a lineup on the fly right before the game started and I've never had to do that. They played so much better. It looked like they focused more.”
Praslicka played the entire game Friday and Tucker has been resting all week due to a back injury.
“Lacie's having trouble with her back. Something in her upper back is really painful. But we're hoping some rest will give her some relief,” Faussett said. “So we gave her this whole week off. She saw our trainer, she’s been getting treatment, she went to a doctor this week and she’s going to another one on Monday. But she felt pretty good today so we will have her back for next week.”
Praslicka showed no ill-effects from missing practice time as she led the team with 10 kills and five aces to along with seven assists.
Despite how well the switch worked Friday, Faussett has no intentions of making it full-time.
“It's just a little tweak. But I think it made them focus more,” Faussett said. “When they are in different spots they have to watch plays more and make sure they are on the right part of the court to help each other out. Where as when you play in the same formation for 25 games your mind wanders and you lose focus.”
While Tucker hasn’t been playing, she has been helping the girls stay focused on the bench by leading celebrations after each point.
“It makes it fun for everybody, makes them focus,” Faussett said of her bench’s celebrations after points. “Sometimes when you’re on the bench you can lose focus on the game. But if you’re involved in every point then you tend to be more focused.”
The only area where the Lady Indians struggled to focus was at the service line. Almost a third of Terrell’s 24 total points came off of service errors by the Indians.
“It’s weird because our goal is to serve 95 percent We don’t get it every time, but we’ve served 95 percent probably 18 times,” Faussett said. “But our last couple matches we’ve probably served 79, 87 and 91 and that’s just not good enough.”
Serving was Faussett’s point of emphasis this week during practice.
“You don’t want to overemphasis it because that just makes them think on it more, but it’s an area we need to make some strides,” Faussett said. “We usually just do serves during drills and sometimes they can get careless. And then they come out here and get careless. So we’ve spent 10 minutes in each of the last two practices just working on game serve. They did really well getting 10 or 11 in a row, then we go out there and miss them.”
But Faussett thinks her team is progressing well and is ready for a challenging week with games against Lancaster and Red Oak.
“We are just trying to clean up our game and improve in our serving. We’re finalizing what plays we want to run with what personnel,” Faussett said. “But now we’re trying to define that a little more and know exactly what we want from each rotation.”