T he volleyball team at Palo Duro High School is talking about pride this season.
"It has been a little rough around here in recent years," said Daisy Almanza, a senior setter for the Lady Dons. "But I think we're getting to where we need to be to accomplish a lot this year."
The Lady Dons have had their share of ups and downs over the past handful of years. Palo Duro began last season with a winning record before struggling in district play. Third year head coach D'Arcy Roberts has been working to convince her players patience and determination will be the keys in turning the volleyball program from one of inconsistency to a district contender for the post-season.
"It'll be tough," said Lady Dons head coach D'Arcy Roberts. "We have a young team but a lot of talent. If we can get them working well together, we can be very competitive."
With the start of the volleyball season days away, the Lady Dons offered a sports challenge. I had the opportunity to play defensive specialist and attempt to dig at least 7 of their 20 kills. It did not take long for me to realize high school volleyball players have the potential to make a volleyball novice look slow and uncoordinated.
After 20 kill attempts, I had successfully returned only one ball. Obviously, the Lady Dons won the Pitt's Sports Challenge.
"Not bad," said A'Jahn Harvey, a senior middle blocker. "I give you credit for coming out here and trying.