LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Ropes High School has held two practices for their brand new volleyball team. The program was just added to their varsity sports back in the spring.
The gym was packed with about 45 girls learning from head coach, Nikki Garcia and an assistant coach, both wearing face mask. Coach Garcia called the high number a blessing, but also a challenge.
“Right now trying to just decide to get them into groups small enough at times, where there’s not so much standing,” said Coach Garcia. “Of course they need to be looking right now and watching and seeing what’s going on right now especially those ones who have never; or are brand new to the sport.”
Before the season begins, she plans to form three teams with the girls; one varsity and either two JV teams, or a JV and freshman team.
Luckily for Coach Garcia, a number of the girls have some experience playing club and other levels of the game.
Senior Rylan Garcia is glad to get an opportunity to play the sport at the high school level before she graduates. She hasn’t played volleyball competitively since the 7th grade.
“It just feels great to even have the opportunity to even get to play this year,” she said. “And for all these girls to be showing up, working their butts off honestly it’s been amazing.”
But even the girls who have experience, have gone through challenges with the start of the new program.
“Keeping my patience with the people who haven’t played before, because I get use to high level stuff a lot. So keeping myself patient, like just remembering how I was when I first started,” freshman, Bree Stumbo said.
“We’ve had to take it slow on a lot of things. I mean, it’s not bad. We’re all learning, even the ones who have played before. We’re learning new things.”
Coach Garcia said the start of the program will be developed in steps to form the team the Eagles can be in her eyes.
“The first stage I always, no matter what you’re doing no matter if it’s a new program or not is building relationships with those kids, she said.” “And luckily the UIL gave us some time this summer to get that going. So we were able to build those relationships, we were able to start building some foundational volleyball skills. This week has been the first week we get to put kind of all of those skills together.”
She said she’s already seen growth among the girls from those summer practices and looks forward to taking the floor to actually compete in the coming weeks.