A 4-4 start to the season leaves Tyler Junior College fans wondering what the 2017 season may hold for Apache Volleyball.
Third-year head coach Brandi Hood has a calming attitude towards the average start.
Describing the early losses she said “In some of those losses we got better and some of them we just looked silly” but then went on to say that “taking losses early in the season is okay, I’d rather take them now than take them later”. Coach Hood saw the Hutchinson Tournament as a chance to “up the intensity”.
Coach Hood describes herself as a “high demanding” coach. Appropriate for a high demanding program. The Apaches were looking to use the Hutchinson tournament Sept. 22-23 to boost themselves out of their .500 record.
TJC started off well with a sweep against Odessa College. Going into the final game of
the first day they looked to match their season high of two wins in a row. This was not to be as they fell to New Mexico Military Institute by a score of 3-1.
Day two started well also with a 3-0 win over Jefferson College. With a chance to finish the tournament over .500 the Apaches lost to Mineral Area College 3-1. This put TJC as a 6-6 overall team.
With the Apaches staying a .500 club, returning to the friendly confines seemed to be no different. TJC had a 3-3 home record coming out of the Hutchinson Tournament. With Panola coming to town Sept. 27 there was no lack of motivation for the Apaches.
Coach Hood says this year should be a big difference compared to last year with this matchup. With the team getting better each day in Coach Hood’s opinion the early season home-game looked good for the Apaches. The expectations seem to be higher this year.
Coach Hood described some of the younger players last year as being “a little scared” of the big matchup but this year the team has an improved mindset. “Every conference game matters” says Coach Hood which is why TJC fans piled into to Wagstaff Gymnasium for the in-state rivalry.
TJC has an “all hands on deck” style team this year. Coach Hood says there isn’t that one player having to step up and carry the team on a nightly basis. Everyone on the court is a contributor this year.
The team has a good depth chart on the bench as well. Coach Hood says she likes this style of play. She likes that they [the team] are playing well as a “unit” as she describes it.
Wednesday night had big implications for what type of team TJC can be this year. Panola entered the matchup with an 11-2 record which gave TJC a chance to pull off an early conference upset.