By: JOHN CANNON
(EDCOUCH) – Edcouch-Elsa head volleyball coach Ofelia Griffith will be the first to tell you that the time she has with her team over these next four days is extremely valuable.
“We have a lot of work to get in over the next four days and it’s a very difficult task,” said Griffith. “You want to make sure to give the girls the best opportunity to put them in the place that they have earned or where they belong on the court.”
“It’s a short amount of time and in four days, you hope to see as much as you can in order to make a decision. At the end, a decision has to be made and you always hope to get as close as you can get in order to not make any major changes.”
Lucky for Griffith, she has a ton of experience coming back which should lessen the load as to who will play in certain positions.
“We are fortunate to bring back a lot of kids from last year’s team,” said Griffith. “We were loaded with underclassmen in 2015 and now these girls have a year of experience under their belts.”
“Also, they know what’s expected of them here and know the things we are looking for. Quite a few of these girls got some valuable playing time last year and that’s a major plus. Also I feel we have one of the most solid defenses in the entire Rio Grande Valley and the girls are very confident in their ability.”
The Lady Jackets will have to replace to excellent outside hitters in Cassidy and Samantha Martinez and looks to use this week to fill those key roles.
“We lost two great outside hitters and they are going to be tough to replace,” said Griffith. “Cassidy and Samantha were big parts of our offense and their playing positions are key areas we need to really focus on. We have to work on finding girls to step up and fill those spots. But we are spending valuable time looking at who will be the next girls up to play the outside hitter roles.”
Edcouch-Elsa is looking to feed off of their success from 2015 as they hope to repeat as district champions.
However, it’s not going to be an easy task due to the competition in 32-5A and adding Brownsville Veterans definitely makes the road to the district title even tougher.
“Our district is always a tough one,” said Griffith. “We have some very tough teams here and adding Vets to the mix makes it even more competitive.”
“However, we are no stranger to facing stiff competition as Mission Veterans was in our district some years ago and they are a Valley powerhouse. Also we have a very tough non-district schedule which prepares our girls for district. I have complete faith in my girls and feel we have a good of a chance as any teams in our district to win a title. We have a lot of talent and these girls know the tradition that has been built here at E-E.”