Lady Patriot spikers open Tuesday at Weatherford

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Emma Riggs blocks Rachel Kittell’s shot with help from Laurel Wilbanks. SWCS opens the season Tuesday. (Photo by Chuck Reherman)

By Chuck Reherman
Sports Editor
Building a rivalry.
That’s what Southwest Covenant is building with Weatherford as the team’s open the season against each other for the seventh straight year.
The Lady Patriots will go on the road to face the Lady Eagles Tuesday. Matches start at 5 p.m. with the freshman, 6 p.m. JV and 7 p.m. for the varsity.
The Lady Patriots have won the last five meetings between the teams in the opener and have faced each other 10 times over the past four years.
Southwest Covenant enters the season opener with an experienced team, returning all their starterss and players from last year.
Weatherford is also expected to be improved, although they lost a key hitter to graduation.
“We are excited and the girls are ready to play,” SWCS head coach Samantha Lindsey said. “We have opened the season with them every since I have been here and have had success against them lately.
“We will be looking to see how our composure is in this first match,” she said. “I want them to walk out there confident that they can win the game, go out and take care of business and win the game. We need to be a mature team having to be a team with three seniors and we need to go out and act line it.
“We don’t know a lot about Weatherford. We know they lost their best player from last year, but they have two or three other really solid players that are back. They are always a good match, it is has never not been a good match and I expect that it will not be an easy match to open up with.”
The Lady Patriots return all six starters, but Lindsey has been toying around with moving players to different positions to give them that edge to make that break through. SWCS has advanced to the state tournament the last four years in a row, but have lost out in the first round each time.
“With the experience we have back, we feel we have a little bit of an advantage going into this first match,” Lindsey said. “We have a little bit of advantage all year because we have everyone back and are picking up where we left off. We went through all of that last year and this should be our time to come in with more experience and prepared for these teams that have beaten us or played us really close.
“I’m looking for this team to beat some of those teams we played close, but couldn’t put away,” she said. “I want them to go into those games with the expectations and confidence to win. That is what we feel will be the key to success for this team is to play with the confidence and maturity that an experienced team should have.”