By Michael Kinney
The Moore American
MOORE — The Southmoore volleyball team is a year behind. Even though it heads into the postseason this week as the No. 9 team in class 6A, coach Janet Brannon expected this type of success to come last season.
“I expected more last year,” Brannon said. “My seniors this year started in my junior high and youth league in 2008. It really started coming about last year. I had expected it would take us about a good four or five years.”
Brannon took over the SaberCats’ program in 2008 and did more than build a varsity team. She created a system.
Now, the fruits of that system are showing itself this year as Southmoore has not only become one of the better teams in the state, but has also knocked off a few elite programs on the way.
“We set goals from the beginning to win more than we lost, to be city champions and to go compete against the big dogs that we schedule,” Brannon said. “And we’ve actually beaten some of those teams pretty handily we hadn’t expected to. Some of them we expected to have a bigger fight from such as Norman North, Broken Arrow and Bartlesville for that matter. We’ve actually exceeded our expectations at this point.”
With a 16-12 record, Southmoore now prepares itself for the regional volleyball tournament. They are the No. 2 seed in the Choctaw region behind Owasso and will play Yukon at 6 p.m. in the first round.
According Brannon, the team is exactly where she wants them to be as the playoffs approach.
“I want them to stick to our game plan,” Brannon said. “Try to execute what we’ve set out all along. Play within ourselves. Not try to be tricky or cute or do anything out of the ordinary. Play good, scrappy, solid defense. And get the ball to our hitters and let them execute the plays.”
The SaberCats have relied all year on a group of seniors, led by Amy Serowski. They have keyed the Cats defense, which the team is built around.
“I think the biggest thing is our hitters are getting more consistent,” Brannon said. “They are starting to execute our plays much better. Our defense has always been our strength but it’s becoming a fine oiled machine at this point.”
Southmoore isn’t just looking to do well at regionals and have a good showing. They want to advance as far as their talents and hard work will take them.
“Actually are right on target where we want to be for this time of the season,” Brannon said. “We’ve worked hard the whole season and upped our competition schedule. They have definitely met the challenge and it shows being ranked No. 9. We are in a really good position in our regional pairings. We feel pretty confident about it.”
Michael Kinney Follow me @eyeamtruth firstname.lastname@example.org