The Whitehouse volleyball team came in the season with nine seniors on the roster, meaning the LadyCats were blessed with experience.
So far, that experience has translated into wins.
Whitehouse (16-7) is set to begin District 14-4A action on the road against Kilgore at 4:30 p.m. tonight. The LadyCats play host to Nacogdoches at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
“I think with a lot of seniors we have a lot of experience and leadership,” Whitehouse second-year coach Britney Nordin said. “A lot of these girls experienced the playoffs last year. Having those experiences and expectations sort of carried over. They have the same expectations and the same drive, and I think that is going to help.”
The LadyCats’ senior class includes outside hitter Kinzie Patterson, setter/defensive specialist Emilly Carter, defensive specialist Dara Russell, libero Rachel Garlitz and middle blocker JJ Williams.
It also includes defensive specialist Shelby Galloway, setter Madison Melrose, outside hitter/defensive specialist Blakely Braughton and outside hitter Erica Jordan.
The group approached the season with a good work ethic, Nordin said.
“We definitely started off strong in two-a-days working hard and setting a good example,” Nordin said. “That has carried through so far. Hopefully we will start off right and continue the season and pay hard in district when it counts.”
The LadyCats have been led by Braughton (135 kill, 151 digs, 27 aces), Patterson (81 kills), junior Angela Knight (75 kills, 88 digs, 30 aces), Williams (69 kills), Jordan (65 kills), junior Torrie Maae (57 kills) and junior Fulani Petties (41 kills).
The other stat leaders have included Garlitz (164 digs), Russell (78 digs), Melrose (36 aces) and Carter (35 aces).
Junior outside hitter/middle blocker Raven Hill has also contributed.
Nordin has enjoyed the season.
“It’s been nice to have a year under your belt,” she said. “It’s been nice to know what’s coming up and sort of how they work. That’s helped me a lot. It’s been a lot of fun. This is a fun group of girls that are competitive and want to work hard.”
Nordin continued: “I think a lot of it is due to the fact that we have so many seniors this year. Last year we only had four and even then we had only one returning starter. So it was a lot of girls’ first-year experience of court time. I noticed in our scrimmage (this year) how much further along we are in terms of experience.”
Whitehouse completed non-district with a sweep of Spring Hill on Tuesday.
“It was a good game for us to end preseason on,” Nordin said. “We played well and Spring Hill has done really well. So it was good to see our girls play with them. It set a good foundation and hopefully we can continue.”