Losing six seniors is tough, but first-year Crandall volleyball coach Alley Lovern believes she has enough depth on her bench this year, along with some seasoned seniors, to improve on last year’s 5-5 district record.

It won’t be easy, and the players said they’ll need to work on communication – mostly talking more on the court to their teammates – more than anything else. 

Senior Chloe Pryor said the team is doing better this early in the season than she and the other seniors expected. “It’s all coming together,” she said, noting that players are more committed to playing to the best of their abilities on the court.

Seniors Madison Rhodes, a defensive specialist, and Jordan Gray, who focuses on scoring from the right side of the court, said the team is showing improvement every day.

“Our coach knows the drills, and she knows what we need to work on,” Rhodes added.

“We have to work on our communication and our attitudes,” Gray said. Learning from mistakes made on the court and moving on are key, she added.

The Pirates started play on Aug. 6, then hosted an invitational tournament on Aug. 15 and 17. The next home game on the schedule is Sept. 17 against Brownsboro. The homecoming game is Oct. 11 against Quinlan, followed by a Pink Out game on Oct. 15 vs. Caddo Mills. Senior night is set for Oct. 22 against Sunnyvale. 

Early in the season, the team is steadily improving, Lovern noted. Many have played together since they were girls, either on the middle school team or in club programs, and that experience is beneficial when girls move up to high school play. 

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