“If they loved the sport enough to play more, they could be good”
by Than Acuff
Youth and inexperience eventually spelled the end of the Titans’ volleyball season as they fell to Del Norte in the first round of the district tournament on Tuesday, October 24. The season’s end wasn’t completely empty though, as libero Nicki Rehberg was able to join the team and play in the final week after missing the entire season due to injury.
“That was kind of a big deal and I’m glad that worked out,” says coach Heather Perry.
Perry admits that she and the team knew it would be a tough season. With such a young squad playing in one of the top 2A leagues in the state, success would be erratic. Nevertheless, the team relied on their athleticism and never-say-die attitude to keep the train rolling, working as hard as they could for Perry and their teammates.
“I think they did a good job continuing to play knowing that each match would be tough,” says Perry. “We certainly didn’t get outhustled.”
The Titans entered the district tournament the #6 seed drawing the third-seeded Del Norte Tigers. The Titans faced the Tigers twice during the regular season, losing both, and Perry couldn’t sugarcoat the expected outcome of the district match. As a result, she had one simple goal and one simple request.
“I just tried to get as many people as much playing time as possible,” says Perry. “And I just told them, let’s agree to just play hard and whatever happens, happens.”
The Titans struggled through the first set falling quickly 9-25.
“We had a million hitting errors,” says Perry.
The Titans recovered to put together a much better effort in the next two sets, falling 17-25 and 19-25, putting an end to the Titans’ season.
The team finished with nine blocks, three aces, seven kills and 27 digs in the match.
“Every set was better than the last so that was nice to see,” says Perry.
While a young team should bode well for the Titans in the coming seasons, Perry points out that it is ultimately up to the players and what they do in the off season.
“Our kids are athletic enough but until someone starts playing in the off season, I would expect them to finish sixth in the league again,” says Perry. “If they loved the sport enough to play more, they could be good.”
Unfortunately, Perry won’t be there to see if it happens, since she is stepping down from the head coach position to give more attention to her business.