Eisenhower on the come-up under Riggs' direction
It has been an offseason of growth at Big IKE.
Coming off a 3-26 season, where Eisenhower went winless in District 16-6A, the focus this offseason has been more about the team than individuals.
Kierra Riggs, who enters her second season at the helm of the program, is excited heading into this year considering she is starting the 2019 campaign with the exact same group of girls that she ended with last season.
"The chemistry picked up more-so after the season, which is weird and crazy," Riggs admitted with a smile. "I think it picked up as soon as we started our offseason training and participating in a spring league. Just the way that they gelled together and their chemistry has made a huge difference. I'm excited to carry all of that energy and momentum into our season."
Amongst the returners, Riggs will look towards Dejanee Washington and Ashanti Robertson (honorable mention, all-district) for the leadership needed to guide the team.
"Last year we played as individuals," Robertson said. "A team can't make it together being good individually. A volleyball team must work together to win a game. That's what we're going to do this year."
Other key returners for Eisenhower include Camille Powers, Tiana Harrison, Amorie Wallace and Chelsea Lewis. Powers will provide some height at the net.
Riggs is extremely excited about the prospects of Lewis, who played on varsity last season as a freshman.
"She'll be a huge contributor," Riggs said of Lewis. "She's been playing club for a while too. She has some experience under her belt and doing some training with some hitting coaches. She will make a huge impact."
As Riggs – who is a graduate of Alief Elsik High School and played her collegiate volleyball at Texas Southern University – heads into her second season she feels like they are "buying into the program".
"I feel like we have come together more as a team," Washington said. "We bonded more. We have better chemistry than last year. I feel like we're capable of going further than we did last year."
The offseason and summer workouts will pay dividends this fall, Riggs said as they prepare to make a run for one of the four playoff spots.
"I've already mentally prepared myself for playoffs and the girls are as well because we're not settling for anything less than that," Riggs said. "They know that we're all here to work hard. I can just tell the way that we are going into workouts and mentally prepared for that. I'm excited for the growth of it.
"We're definitely playoff bound."