BANGS — There is another team from Bangs besides the football and baseball teams making trips to Austin to compete. The Bangs club volleyball team, the Heartland Hitters, is made up exclusively of girls from 10th through 12th grade at Bangs High School.
Returning Lady Dragons head coach Colleen Westfall has a watchful eye on the practices and goes to the tournaments, but mostly as a cheerleader and a supporter. Much like the UIL rules for 7-on-7 football, the paid athletic staff can’t have a hands-on approach to coaching the kids during the offseason. Westfall had an ideal candidate to be her team’s volunteer coach, her mother Susan, who is handling the coaching duties of the Heartland Hitters.
Westfall’s enthusiasm for the game is contagious to her young players. “We took the girls to Austin last weekend for a tournament and they learned so much and had so much fun,” Westfall said. “They watched a German team play and saw the European style of play exhibited.”
Westfall believes playing in the summer league is beneficial to her players as well.
“They get to practice the pace of a game and experience good competition in the summer,” Westfall said.
Senior Kassidy Adams, a secondary setter, enjoys playing for the Heartland Hitters in the summertime. “It sharpens our skills and will help us tremendously in the fall,” Adams said. Adams added what she liked most about going to tournaments with her teammates was the bonding involved. “We get pretty close on the road trips,” Adams said.
Adams’ immediate goal is to get to the state playoffs with Bangs, then hopefully play for Texas A&M next year.
Sophomore libero Elizabeth Pettit is excited to be back on the Bangs team this season. “I want to go back to the playoffs this season and win,” Pettit said. “We definitely have a revenge factor going into this season.”
Junior defensive specialist Taylor Francois enjoys the summer league because it keeps her active and in shape.
“Serving is my specialty,” Francois said. “I enjoy serving up aces.”
The Heartland Hitters’ next competition falls Saturday in Dublin at the Four Leaf Clover Tournament.
Meanwhile, two-a-days for the high school season begin Aug. 5 The Lady Dragons will host a volleyball camp Aug. 2-3 and the junior high will have its camp July 26-27.