VOLLEYBALL PREVIEW: Baytown Lee Ganders
It is usually in the third to fourth year of a head coach being at a program that one can truly see the culture sink in.
For Mary Grosjean, who enters her fourth year leading the Baytown Lee volleyball program, she is starting to see the work over the past three seasons is setting in.
“The seniors I had last year, I had them as freshmen, so they led the path to what we are wanting as far as culture — academically, in the program and work ethic,” Grosjean said. “Now, I think I have a pretty solid base. So, our young guns are coming in and they know what to do. So, we’re pretty excited.”
Lee is coming off a year where they went 3-31 overall and 0-16 in district but despite the overall record, Grosjean says she saw glimpses of an inner fight.
“Our girls learned how to compete,” she said. “With a couple of games, they surprised themselves with how well they would do against some of these teams.”
The Ganders return two players off that squad, including their lone senior in Kandace Waller.
“Personally, I’d like to grow in all positions, hitting, passing and setting,” Waller said about her goals for her final season. “Team wise, I want to be that leader and I want to help people to grow to be leaders. So, whenever I’m gone, we have somebody to fill my spot.
“I’ve always been a big helper. I love helping younger people learn stuff. I want to be that voice.”
Other key names to remember include Heaven Perkins (MB), Calli Barron (OH) and Andrea Lopez (Pin Hitter). Of that trio, two are juniors and one is entering her sophomore season this fall.
“We are going to have a younger team this year,” Grosjean said. “Younger teams are always exciting because they are hungry. They are hungry for the success. We are going to be in a new district, so that’s exciting. So, just being competitive, working hard and trying to be relentless and gritty are the goals.”