Volleyball match to be featured on Spectrum Sports

Senior Haley Cuba prepares to hit the ball over the net at Spikefest 2017.

Wildcat Photo

Senior Haley Cuba prepares to hit the ball over the net at Spikefest 2017.

Lizzy Arnold, Editor-in-Chief

The De Soto High School volleyball team will begin its season by facing reigning 5A State champion Saint James Academy in the marquee matchup of the Spectrum Sports Volleyball Slam Tournament this Saturday, Aug. 25.

Senior Haley Cuba is looking forward to her last school volleyball season alongside eight other seniors, many who have played together since a young age. Cuba is confident in the team’s chemistry and is excited for their first chance to play this season, and for what the rest of the season holds.

“I think we can just do such great things with this team and playing Saint James out of the gates [is] going to be just a great experience,” Cuba said. “We can get ready and know what we need to do for this season [and] how hard we’re going to have to play to reach our goal of going to State this year.”

Head coach Lindsay Hothan is looking forward to the learning experience that this game will provide to the team so early on in the season, as opposed to other seasons when the high-stakes matches usually occur towards the last few weeks.

“I’m really excited that we have a chance to play in a really competitive match right out of the gate, learn a lot about our team and improve from that point forward,” Hothan said.

One factor of the match, however, is something new that the team hasn’t encountered before; the game will be televised on Spectrum Sports at 6:30 p.m.

The team has not been focusing on this factor too much. According to Cuba, the team is looking towards the actual game and what they can do to improve as players.

“We haven’t really been thinking about it being televised,” Cuba said. “We’re just focusing on what the atmosphere is going to be like and how we can control what we can, like our emotions, how we interact with each other, working together and being excited.”

Hothan also agreed that the team is not too focused on the live broadcast of the game, but more so about playing in the moment.

“We haven’t really talked about that piece [the game being televised], and I don’t want to let this match seem too big for them. We are just focusing on one point at a time, one set at a time and our goal is to keep everything simple … We are trying to mentally prepare the best that we can, but at the end of the day it’s a volleyball match and that’s how they need to approach it,” Hothan said.

The DHS Pep Club has offered a free ride to the game on a pep bus, and students are encouraged to come and support their classmates. Hothan also encourages the support of the student body due to the energy it provides the players.

“They do feel it on the court. Even though they’re focused on the game, they can feel when there is support in the stands and that only brings about positive energy for the team and enhances their play. So the more support we can feel out there I think the better it is for our team,” Hothan said.