The playoffs are approaching.

The 2009 postseason for the Waxahachie Lady Indians varsity volleyball team begins in a mere six months.

Longtime volleyball coach Sandy Faussett understands that preparation for the playoffs, in any season, begins long before the first day of practice.

As a result, a slew of events are planned this summer to continue building the Waxahachie volleyball program into a program that is an annual playoff contender.

A volleyball camp for girls entering grades sixth through ninth will be led by Faussett along with former players during the second week of June.

For the first time, Faussett will hold a second camp for younger girls who are entering the third through fifth grades. The camp for the younger girls will be held from 2-4 p.m. at the Ninth Grade Academy while the camp for the older girls will be held from 9-noon at both the high school and the Ninth Grade Academy.  Both camps are scheduled to take place June 8 through June 11.

“This is the first year we have offered a camp for the younger kids in the community,” Faussett said. “There seems to be an interest so we wanted to separate them for the older kids and really focus on fundamentals and creating good habits. I’m really looking forward to doing that camp for the first time.”

The cost of the camp for the younger kids is $50 while the cost for the older camp is $80 for pre-registration. After June 1 (including walk-ups), the price will increase to $90 per camper. The camp fee includes a camp T-shirt.

“In the morning session we will separate the students according to grade levels,” Faussett said. “We will teach fundamentals, combination drills all week and then end with the tournament on the last day.  It’s really a fun week and we get to meet the younger kids that are interested in the sport.”

Once the camps are over there will be a little down time before high school tryouts begin Monday, Aug. 3.

Tryouts for the freshman, junior varsity and varsity team will begin at 7:30 a.m. Aug. 3 and conclude Wednesday, Aug. 5.

To tryout students must have a UIL physical on file.  Free physicals for seventh-12th grade athletes are being offered at the high school at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 30. High school athletes report at 9 a.m. for the physicals while junior high athletes report at 10 a.m.

As a part of the tryout process athletes will be required to run the mile (varsity/JV under 8 minutes, ninth grade under 8:30), pass physical tests to determine speed, agility, coordination and jumping ability; pass skills tests and show talent in game-like situation.

Special consideration to attitude, work ethic, reliability, teamwork and coachability will be taken into consideration.

Once the tryouts have been completed, teams will be posted at the George Solis Gym on Wednesday at 5 p.m.

Uniforms will be issued to players Thursday, Aug. 6, and the first practice will begin there after. Team pictures will be taken Friday, Aug. 7, before the Lady Indians open the 2009 volleyball season with a scrimmage at Mesquite.

The first high school regular season games will be played Monday, Aug. 10, at Irving Nimitz. The ninth-grade white team and junior varsity team will play at 5:30 p.m. while the varsity team and the ninth-grade green team will play at 6:30 p.m.

The varsity’s first tournament will be on Thursday, Aug. 13, at the Denton Kickoff Classic. The first home game for the varsity Lady Indians will be played Sept. 8 against Duncanville.

As voted on by their teammates, captains for the 2009 Lady Indian varsity team will be Taylor Hinds, Meredith Backus and McKenzie Gaither.

Hinds was the winner of the fighting award last season and looks to be a part of a team loaded with seniors.

Expected to return to the Lady Indians in 2009 for their senior season will be Hinds, Backus, Gaither, Lauren Wright, Stephanie Chambers and Hannah Loveless.

Returning underclassmen expected to fight for a varsity roster spot are Kristen Cotton, Kate Praslicka, Cara Partington and Stevetia Turner.

Praslicka was named the 2008 District 16-4A newcomer of the year last season for her play at the setter position. Backus and Hinds earned first team all-district honors last season while Loveless and Gaither earned second team honors.

The playoffs are coming and the Lady Indians will be ready.