Motivation

Canyon volleyball finds motivation through disappointment – San Antonio Express-News

Summary

NEW BRAUNFELS — New Braunfels Canyon’s preparation for the 2021 season began the moment the final point dropped in last year’s Region IV-5A championship against Dripping Springs.

After defeating Dripping Springs twice in District 26-5A play, the Cougarettes lost the match that determined a state berth. The four-set loss stung and lingered until practice for the 2021 season began on Aug. 2.

“We remember the last point, and the feeling of ‘Oh, it’s over. The…….

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NEW BRAUNFELS — New Braunfels Canyon’s preparation for the 2021 season began the moment the final point dropped in last year’s Region IV-5A championship against Dripping Springs.

After defeating Dripping Springs twice in District 26-5A play, the Cougarettes lost the match that determined a state berth. The four-set loss stung and lingered until practice for the 2021 season began on Aug. 2.

“We remember the last point, and the feeling of ‘Oh, it’s over. There’s nothing else we can do anymore,’” said senior outside hitter Kyla Malone, who signed with Incarnate Word last week. “We all knew the second that game was over that it was probably going to be the same match this year except this time we were going to come more prepared, and we did.”

The Cougarettes left that bitterness behind after defeating Dripping Springs in four sets in the regional final Saturday to advance to their 12th UIL state tournament and their first since 2015.

“Falling short last year, it was really hard and sad,” sophomore setter Megan Hawkins said. “We didn’t want to feel that way again because we knew we could do it.”

Canyon (43-8) plays Grapevine (21-17) in a Class 5A state semifinal at 1 p.m. Friday at Garland’s Culwell Center. The winner plays Lucas Lovejoy (40-6) or Manvel (37-11) for the state title at 3 p.m. Saturday.

To get there, Canyon coach Heather Sanders set the confidence tone before their first practice of the season.

“I’ve been telling this group from day one, I’ve been at this a while, and I know what it takes, and I know what it looks like when you are that caliber a team, and I told them from the get-go they could do this,” Sanders said.

Sanders is in her 23rd year as a head coach — all at Canyon — and is taking a team to the state tournament for a fifth time. The Cougarettes are searching for their second state championship after they won the 4A (now 5A) title in 1983.

“This is a great opportunity,” Hawkins said. “We’ve worked hard all season. We’ve had the end in mind all season, and this has been one of our goals, and it’s so incredible that we get to do this.”

After the Cougarettes defeated Dripping Springs on Saturday, Sanders spoke to the team on the bus ride back to their school. Sanders was confident her team was going to win. From that conversation, she learned her players felt the same.

“It felt different,” Sanders said. “We weren’t worried or nervous. We felt confident in our abilities. We knew we were prepared. Sometimes, you just know, and that was one of those moments.”

Malone battled some nerves, but she knew her team was ready.

“I was trying to push those nerves away,” Malone said. “I …….

Source: https://www.expressnews.com/sports/high-school/article/Canyon-volleyball-finds-motivation-through-16629391.php