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PREP PREVIEW: New coach from Texas has big plans for Plymouth spikers

 PREP PREVIEW: New coach from Texas has big plans for Plymouth spikers

Member of the 2023 Plymouth High School volleyball team pose for a photo following Thursday’s practice.

One year removed from coaching volleyball at 4,600-student Duncanville (Texas) High School, new Plymouth High School head volleyball coach Evangerline Trice has liked what she has seen during the two months she’s been able to connect with the Wildcats.

“I love that these ladies are super-coachable and they all have dynamic spirits,” said Trice, a native of White Cloud, Mich., and a 2009 graduate of the University of Michigan. “They’re sweet girls and they’re willing to work hard. Anything I’ve asked of them, they’re more than willing to do.

“I’ve already seen a lot of growth in their skills. It’s going to be a really good season.”

Chemistry vital

Plymouth’s new coach received high praise from Reginald Bell, athletic direcotr at Dallas Lincoln Humanities/Communications Magnet High School, where she formerly coached and taught.

A welcoming image for Evangerline Trice posted on the Plymouth athletics website
A welcoming image for Evangerline Trice posted on the Plymouth athletics website

“(Evangerline’s) character is defined by her hard work,” Bell said. “She is a leader by example with others in mind.

“When given an opportunity, she will perform above all preconceived expectations.”

Trice, who was a multi-sport coach (in addition to volleyball, she was an assistant boys hoops coach and a track-and-field throwing coach) at Duncanville the past three years, said this group of Wildcats has already mastered probably the most-important volleyball intangible.

A Plymouth defensive specialist handles a serve Thursday morning.
A Plymouth defensive specialist handles a serve Thursday morning

“Chemistry is huge in this sport and these girls have it,” she said. “I like the way they’re able to read each other and understand each other.

“The setter-hitter connections are really good and our defensive specialists understand what’s going on with serve-receive. That’s why it was important to do the bonding activities we did over the summer.”

The bulk of the Wildcats’ 2023 roster consists of underclassmen (the team has four seniors), which isn’t a bad thing considering one of them is junior outside hitter Tara Creekmore, who has earned an elite “Under Armor Next” honor, a laurel secured by only the most-heralded players in the country.

Leaps and bounds

Plymouth will be bolstered by the addition of outside hitter Jayla Lewis, a transfer from Florida.

“Jayla is one of the smallest hitters we have, but she has the best vertical of all of them,” Trice said.

A Plymouth player receives a serve during an August 10 practice
A Plymouth player receives a serve during an August 10 practice

Senior Sophia Young brings top-shelf skills to the Wildcats’ defense while freshman middle Dakota Fields is already gelling with her more-experienced teammates.

“I literally could say something truly positive about every girl on this team,” Trice reiterated. “The spirit and hard work they’ve shown me has been amazing.”

Productive summer

The Wildcats have worked hard since mid-June during their allotted 15 days of summer workouts and during a team camp they attended at Michigan State University, Trice said.

“They’ve really grasped the concepts I’ve introduced to them,” she added.

“We’re in a super-competitive conference, so we’ll set our goals accordingly. What we’re looking for is for them to master the goals and reach new heights.”

It sounds like the Wildcats are well on their way to doing just that under the guidance of a coach who knows her stuff.

Ed Wright can be reached at 734-664-4657 or edwright@socialhousenews.com.

 

 

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Ed Wright

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