Setting It Up For The Playoffs

The Lake Ridge Volleyball team is all set for the playoffs, beginning on November 1st. They will face Midway in the first round, after a win to end the regular season. Finishing with a 8-7 record in the district and a 26-18 overall record, the team is preparing to play their best and fix any errors, as they enter the playoffs.

For the seniors, however, it can be a rather emotional journey as they transition into the playoffs after playing their final games on their home court. The Senior Night Game was on October 25th which resulted in a disappointing loss to the Waxahachie Indians. Maddison Halfmann, Senior setter and right side player, reflects upon her experience at the Senior Night Game as well as the overall season.

“Our Senior Game was bittersweet because I feel like we had a really good season, but it’s sad to know that it’s coming to an end soon. However, I feel like we did pretty well. I would say my favorite memory would be this year when we beat DeSoto. We lost to them in the first round of districts, but being able to come back and win was amazing,” said Halfmann.

Although the team finished 4th in the district, the players are proud of their efforts and are excited as they make their way to the playoffs. It is also important for the players to stay disciplined so that their main focus is on the upcoming game. Many teams enter the playoffs feeling overconfident in their ability to win after an outstanding performance in the regular season. However, the team as a whole, including Dawn Moore, Freshman player, is humbly taking the necessary steps to prepare for the playoffs, both mentally and physically.

“When we first figured out that we were making the playoffs, my team and I were really excited. The way we are preparing for it, is we push ourselves, especially in practice and drills. We make sure to fight through the long hard days. I am preparing mentally as well as focusing on what I’m doing on and off the court and on putting the team before myself,” said Moore.

Another fundamental aspect that can make a team successful is the team’s chemistry and connections with one another both on and off the court. Being able to know where your teammates are and what their tasks are during the middle of a game is important and may even be a factor that determines the outcome of the match. Even better, having a close relationship with a fellow teammate off the court can also help build the team’s chemistry even further. Senior Maddison Halfmann, has a younger sister, Freshman Hailey Halfmann, whose presence on the team helps complement the team’s success. As the older sister, Maddison is always encouraging her younger sister, hoping that their connection can translate onto the court. 

“I think sometimes she can doubt herself. I just remind her that she’s a lot better than what she realizes, that this is only her first year, and that she has a lot of room to grow. She is a great passer with the ball and I am a great setter so it’s kind of like every time she gets a good pass, I remind her that she was the one who helped me set up a good ball,” said Halfmann.

The team has also been heavily motivated from the disappointment of last season where they fell short of the playoffs. Prior to this season, the previous 2021-2022 volleyball team finished with a record of 21-22. Improvements have been made and are still being made to ensure that they compete at their maximum strength as they enter the postseason. Additionally, the team is also finding ways to increase their efforts and build their chemistry with one another. Soniya Garner, Senior Middle Blocker, points out the team’s growing motivation, confidence, and strong ties with each other.

“We did not make the playoffs the year before, so we’re trying to keep that fight in us because there are many who don’t like us in the district and are hoping for us to fail. That motivates us to keep going,” said Garner. “I learned that it’s very important to have a team bond because having a poor bond can really put a negative energy on how you play and receive advice from others. The relationships you have with others on the team are so important. To build our chemistry, lately, we got couches to sit around as we spent more time with each other than we did the year before.”