Stillwater News Press

Sports

August 6, 2012

Stillwater High School volleyball squad has eyes on state

STILLWATER, Okla. — The Stillwater Lady Pioneers volleyball team has a new head coach but not a new face as last year’s assistant coach Jason Webber takes the reins in 2012.

“I’m really excited about volleyball right now,” Webber said. “It’s been a lot of fun. The girls are excited for a new season and have worked really hard. They have put in a lot of effort. We are just excited about getting better at what we are doing at Stillwater.”

Webber replaces Lisa Baumann who coached the previous two seasons. Senior Peyton Meachem said it’s been great working under Webber and he’s really motivating the team.

“He’s really held us to a level of where we need to be,” Meachem said. “We are raising the bar every day. We just need to hold ourselves accountable and play hard. The hardest player will be on the court.”

The Lady Pioneers are coming off a 14-20 season that ended with a loss to No. 8 Norman North in regionals. Meachem said the team is ready to improve on last year.

“We’ve been conditioning a lot more,” Meachem said. “We’ve been working a lot harder. I feel like it’s our year.”

Stillwater returns 10 with nine of them being seniors. Meachem and senior Kiley Josey will play at front of the net and should be the leaders in kills. Webber said some of his girls have gained experience beyond playing at school.

“I’m very fortunate to have nine seniors that know how to play the game and the basics to compete at a high level,” Webber said. “One of the positives that we have going on is we got a very old team. They have been through a lot of volleyball, lot of clinics, lot of camps, lot of club play. It’s very well-rounded team.”

Webber said he gets to reap the benefits of his players’ experiences.

“They’ve had so many coaches pouring into their lives,” Webber said. “I get to add my own style and flavor to that. Work on the things that we need to get this group together. They go off to different teams and when they come to me it’s a different mix. We need to figure out what we can do as a team.”

Last season the Lady Pioneers played a challenging schedule with most of their opponents ranked in the top 20, including 18 games against the top five. Stillwater was 10-19 in those games and 4-14 against the top five. Webber said his team will face a similar schedule this season.

“It’s going to be steep,” Webber said. “We have lost a lot of good players in the state. So there is a lot of room for Stillwater to make it’s presence known. It’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of defensive effort. I think the girls are hungry and want to have a great year.”

Meachem said the team is aiming its goals high.

“We are definitely going to state and going as far as we can,” Meachem said. “We haven’t been to state in a while. I think we are ready. That’s our main goal and becoming better players overall.”

Webber said the key to his team’s success comes down to its discipline.

“We’re disciplined in transition footwork,” Webber said. “We’re disciplined in transition defense. We’re patient when we need to be patient and going when we need to go. We need to follow our tactics and techniques we learned in two-a-days.”

The Lady Pioneers open the season 6 p.m. Tuesday against Oklahoma Bible Academy at Pioneer Fieldhouse.

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