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By Jimmie Earls
Sun Sports Writer
It wasn’t the way they wanted the season to end, but Washington County head volleyball coach Brett Hudson is still proud of the way his girls played during the season, and even through the first round of district playoffs Monday night. Although the Commanderettes fell 2-0 to Bethlehem to end their season at 8-22-1, Hudson saw a lot of positive things that the squad will build on for next season.
“We didn’t end up quite like we wanted, but we actually played them (Bethlehem) tonight,” said Hudson after the match. “We faced Bethlehem twice in district play, and I really didn’t think the girls were focused those first two times, but for the first time, I think we played them tonight. Did we make errors? Absolutely, but Bethlehem is a tough team. We had a lot of pass/set/hits tonight and they brought the ball back and dug the ball great. They’re going to be hard to handle, it’s going to be an interesting final.”
The Commanderettes finished the regular season last week with losses against Taylor and Marion counties. WC’s last win was a 2-1 victory over John Hardin on Sept. 10. Since then, the squad went on a month-long, seven-game skid. Not exactly the way you want to enter playoffs.
“We didn’t play well against Taylor County,” Hudson added. “We weren’t focused. The girls had just come back from fall break and it wasn’t our usual environment. For the Marion County game, the girls always got their energy up. We set the ball well, but our hitting was off against Marion.”
Looking back on the 2009 season, Hudson sees some room for improvement and says he will work hard to make 2010 better.
“Looking ahead to next year, we have to increase our expectations and have higher expectations of each other,” Hudson said. “We need to be more focused in every single game. We came in here some days and didn’t want to be at practice. We didn’t work hard and I think that cost us in the games. Overall, I’m proud of the girls. They’ve given a lot of their hours and they’re young. I just hope volleyball is important to them. I’m going to expect a lot out of them next year.”