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Washington County volleyball head coach Anne Mudd and her Commanderettes will be taking this season one game at a time, something she stresses to her team at the start of each season.
“We have our hopes, have our dreams., and the girls want to have a successful season, of course, but whatever the outcome of the present game, we just have to work to do better the next game,” Mudd said. “That’s how we’ll reach our goals as a team.”
But that doesn’t mean the team doesn’t have confidence in its abilities.
Mudd thinks that the team’s attitude so far this offseason will be a strong indicator of what to expect this year.
“We feel like we have a lot of talent on the team this year,” Mudd said. “Our team atmosphere, we have a lot of motivated girls that are willing to work long hours to get where they want to be.
WC volleyball is coming off a 17-14 (4-6) record a season ago that saw them narrowly miss the district finals and an appearance in the 5th Region Tournament. The Commanderettes lost to the eventual-champion Bethlehem Banshees in the semifinals of district play in a back-and-forth affair.
Each of the first three sets that the teams played — one win and two losses for WC — were decided by two points each. Bethlehem pulled away at the end, but the Commanderettes had sent their message as an up-and-coming team.
WC lost six seniors from last year’s team but return five seniors, all of whom have already seen significant varsity action.
Mudd believes this senior presence will have a big impact on how this season turns out.
“Having these experienced seniors is going to make a world of difference because we are so fortunate to have five seniors that are all able to get out on that floor,” Mudd said. “That is rare. They respond well to the younger players, and I really do think our younger players look up to them and see how they’re playing. I feel it motivates them to say, ‘I wanna play like that person.’ All of these seniors are great motivators.”
The Commanderettes had their first chance to fully showcase their talents a few weekends ago when the team participated in The Bluegrass Games. Playing against teams from all across the state.
They improved two flights from last year’s performance, improving to the fourth flight out of eight. WC posted a 3-2 record for the competition and recorded wins over Bullitt East (who went 27-10 last season) and Whitefield Academy (who made it to the championship “flight”).
But Mudd believes there is still work left to do.
“There were some things that held us back at the games, but it’s nothing we can’t work on,” Mudd said. “I’d say we played decent, but from what I saw against some good teams, I was definitely encouraged.”
WC will play its first match next Tuesday against Campbellsville. Their first home match is Aug. 25 against Taylor County. The Commanderettes will play in their newly aligned 12th Region All-A Classic on Aug. 30 at Burgin.
“We’re just looking forward to a really good, really fun season,” Mudd said. “I have a lot of hope for these girls. It’s a very motivated team.”