Van Vleck looks to end playoff drought


Sitting at 2-2 in District 24-3A standings, the Van Vleck Leopards believe that this year might be the year they end an eight-year playoff drought for the program. 

Under the leadership of first-year coach Kadi Casey, the Leopards are primed and ready to challenge for that playoff berth that has eluded the Van Vleck program in recent years.

“The girls are good and we beat Danbury recently and that was a big win for us,” Casey said. “If we just keep playing the way we are play, then hopefully the playoffs are in our future.”

When it comes to district play, Casey knows her team has to adapt to changes made to the program.

“We made a lot of changes this year and how well we hold to our discipline to hold to those changes,” Casey said. “We need to make sure everyone is where they need to be at all times and we have been doing a really job of that. We need to be more consistent and get our serves over every time. If we are consistent, we are amazing.”

Casey, who played volleyball at the University of Houston, said East Bernard remains the team to beat in District 24-3A.

“East Bernard is playing really well but we played Boling recently and they looked really good,” Casey said. “It will definitely between East Bernard and Boling for the top spot in district. But I think we are definitely in the mix there as well.”

Casey will be relying on the talents of Taija Fields and Brianna Lopez as senior outside hitters as players that the Leopards will seek to lead the team. Add in a mix of younger players that have stepped up this year, and Van Vleck might be ready for a playoff run of its own.

“We have some young players that have stepped up and that is exciting,” Casey said. “We just a good team effort right now and everybody is doing their job and its making everything successful.”

Right now, Casey is concentrating on the remaining part of the district schedule and the challenge it will present to her team.

“I am really looking forward to the rest of the district season,” Casey said. “We walk about it all the time that if everybody shows up and does their job every time, we will be successful. The mentality of the girls is really strong and everybody is on the same page and we all want the same thing and that is a playoff berth.

“Every day when we are at practice, we have a sign on the door and we all touch it,” Casey said of the ‘Playoffs 2018’ sign. “The theme of our team this year is all in and every single girl on the team is all in and we are giving everything we have to be where we want to be. If we work hard and everyone wants (the playoffs), we can get there.”

Van Vleck will resume their chase for a playoff berth Tuesday, Sept. 25 when the Leopards travel to take on Tidehaven.

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