The Uvalde Lobos recently completed their 2017 Texas high school volleyball season.
With a brand new head coach and a lot of new, inexperienced varsity players, the Lobos wound up a transitional season of volleyball with a 1-9 district record and an overall season record of 9-23.
“From a slow, methodical teaching start to the fast-paced days of tournament and regular-season matches to the grind of fighting for district wins, I feel blessed to have the opportunity to coach this awesome group of young ladies,” said Russell McElroy, Uvalde High School head volleyball coach.
“From the seniors to the freshmen in our program, these hard-working athletes came to practice each day with the intent to learn all that they could and to apply all of their abilities to make our teams better. As a coach, that is all you can ask for,” McElroy added. “We had lot of highs and lows within our season. We played a lot of good teams in our pre-district matches and we faced a strong district schedule.
“Though we only won one district match, we played well in many other matches. We pushed Floresville to four sets and Southside to five sets. Changing the culture from just being competitive to winning is a slow process, but we moved forward in the right direction this season.”
“We had a good group of young ladies on the varsity team led by our senior trio of Kayla Curtis, Katelin Sena, and Cassandra Silva,” said McElroy. The team will lose the trio to graduation.
Ten of the 13 players on this year’s UHS varsity team will return for the 2018 season, including juniors Jessica Guzman, Kylie Sendejo, Deandra Vera, Morgan Kenney, Jasmine Lewallen, Nadia Gonzales, Michela Contreras and Makayla Perez; and sophomores Makayla Barboza and Shyann Dockal.
“The future of our volleyball program looks bright. This year’s junior group played very important roles for us and they will be a big, strong group who will have a huge impact on our team next year,” said McElroy. “The sophomores on this year’s team gained valuable experience. And our players on the junior varsity team and freshman team showed much progress this season.
“I think we made strides at the seventh-grade and eighth-grade levels that will help our volleyball program in the future,” said McElroy.
“As we head into the off-season for volleyball, I am excited about the possibilities for the future,” said McElroy. “All of our players need to play as much volleyball as they can to grow their skills. Luckily for our community, there are club programs within the area that individual players or groups can seek out to become a part of.
“Hopefully, our athletes got a taste of what and how it feels to win. And that good feeling will spur these athletes on to pursue volleyball with a desire to create a new chapter in the Uvalde Lobos volleyball rich history book,” said McElroy. “Uvalde High School has a long tradition of good volleyball teams and we want to get back to that success.”