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New faces, new leadership roles emerge during Tech’s first week of practice

Tuesday, August 17, 2021
New faces, new leadership roles emerge during Tech’s first week of practice

Third-year head coach Amber McCray is leading her team through practices in preparation for the season that begins in a couple of weeks. Photo courtesy of Louisiana Tech

Back on the court and back in the fall.After 18 of its 20 regular season matches this past season got moved to the spring, Louisiana Tech’s volleyball team has returned to preseason practice with a clear date and clear goal in sight.

The Lady Techsters will open their regular season schedule in two weeks with a neutral site matchup against Little Rock in Fayetteville, Ark., as part of the Razorbacks’ home tournament from Aug. 27-28.

Third-year head coach Amber McCray discussed her team’s progress through week one and welcoming seven new players to the 2021 roster.

What is your overall assessment of this team’s first week of practice?

“In planning out our preseason this year, our staff chose to make our focus of this first week to be on HOW we train. This means breaking down specific technique, particularly for our newcomers, as well as implementing any new changes in how we teach each skill.”

What are some of the key strengths you have seen during practice this week?

“We are seeing a number of wow-factor defensive plays made every day from a variety of players, and our setterhitter connection has also been impressive for us to only be a few days in.

“From an intangible standpoint, I have to say I am most pleased with this team’s coachability along with their willingness to step out of their comfort zones to take risks and GO FOR IT.

“That shows growth from a year ago, and I know if we can keep challenging ourselves to do so that, growth can be exponential.”

What attributes and skills do these seven newcomers bring to the Tech Volleyball program?

“Each of these newcomers brings a distinct skillset that made us want them in our program, but one common theme is that they are all hungry to learn and love to COMPETE.

“As with any incoming group, there is a learning curve while we work to get them acclimated to our way of training and how we teach various aspects of the game in our gym, but this group is eager to get it and is catching on very quickly.”

How has the team been coming together and who has been stepping into a leadership role?

“One of the most exciting observations from training camp so far is the significant growth of our sophomores from their freshman year.

“In addition, we also have a number of newcomers who continue to get more and comfortable each day on the court, and I have no doubt their ability to train as a team this summer greatly contributed to that.”