LA MARQUE – Before last season, the Lady Cougars had not seen a volleyball team reach the state playoffs since Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” was the No. 1 album and J.R. Ewing was at the peak of his soap opera apex in Dallas.
With that 30-year drought out of the way, coach Amy Wilson’s squad isn’t satisfied with just another trip to the postseason.
An experienced team loaded with six returning lettermen is poised to give La Marque fans another reason to be excited about Lady Cougars athletics during the month of November.
“They’ve played well together for the past three years, and they’re familiar with the system,” Wilson said. “We feel that we can go much further this season. They had a taste of the playoffs last year, and now they want to experience more. I believe that once you start something, you have to finish it.”
The Cougars are deep in match-tested veterans, as senior middle blocker Destine Moore and senior outside hitter Amber Scott are two of the players Wilson is counting on to help further solidify the foundation that she started two seasons ago.
Wilson feels her team is strong across the board, especially with the versatility of her players.
The ability to fit pieces in a multitude of positions has enabled the Lady Coogs to put together a solid amount of depth.
One of Wilson’s biggest successes has been gaining fan support for the program, which began to take a step forward during the team’s final push to the postseason.
What had long been a sparse crowd has now become one that has seen La Marque matches become an appointment for fans, especially on Tuesday evenings.
“The turnout has been great because the young ladies have done a good job of encouraging their parents to get involved,” said Wilson. “It’s only built up from there.”
La Marque scrimmaged against Sam Rayburn on Friday as a tuneup for their regular season opener against Brazosport on Tuesday.
The Lady Cougars know that in order to match up against a Sweeny team they expect to face during the postseason, a challenging nondistrict schedule will provide the best proving ground.
“We’re going to run into strong competition throughout the season, but if the ladies work hard and smart, they will be the better for it,” said Wilson.
“I think last season, we sent a message,” she added. “There will be some pressure on us to repeat, but that’s something we’re more than ready for.”
La Marque Lady Cougars
COACH: Amy Wilson (3rd year)
2013 RECORD: 5-12; lost in first round of playoffs to Houston Booker T. Washington
KEY PLAYERS RETURNING: Destine Moore (Sr.), Amber Scott (Sr.), Kristeona Nelson (Sr.)