It’s her team now.
That’s what Navarro volleyball coach Kasey McBrearty can see when she looks out at the gym floor and sees the Bulldogs going through their daily drills.
There are 15 freshmen and no sophomores. Fifteen newbies that will play their first college volleyball matches Friday and Saturday at the Dane Hatch Invitational in Tyler. The Bulldogs will play two matches each day.
They have already taken on the competitive fire of their coach, who is trying to get Navarro back to the regional tournament for the first time since 2009.
"No excuses,” McBreatry said. "We’re here to play volleyball. I have laid it all out for them, what is expected. And they’ve all bought in."
McBrearty, in her second season, has recruited all of her players, watching them play for their high school or club teams. Two holdever sophomores from the previous coaching staff decided not to continue with the team this year.
So McBreatry has her players with the skills she looks for when evaluating talent. That’s what every college coach eventually wants. Their own program.
"I’ve recruited players that want to win a championship,” McBreatry said.
Take Hailee Showers from Houston. She has come up in a competitive family atmosphere. Her father James is a high school football coach at the Aldine Davis High School.
Her older brother, Jameill Showers, is the starting quarterback at UTEP. You might have heard of him. Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel beat out Jameill for the starting job at Texas A&M just weeks before the start of last football season. Jameill transferred this offseason.
Hailee, who played at Killeen Shoemaker and Aldine Nimitz, was recruited by McBreatry and is one of those players that has come in and bought into her coach.
"She has changed everybody in a positive way,” Showers said. "I’m learning to be a better person and a smarter player."
Navarro has played well in preseason scrimmages. What got them last year, not closing out matches, has turned around so far this summer.
"They’ve learned to comeback and finish,”McBrearty said.
The Bulldogs aren’t picked to finish at the top of their zone with Tyler ranked No. 9 in the country. They’ll play at home for the first time this season on Sept. 4.
McBrearty said she’s excited to know so many coaches are underestimating her squad. Her freshmen agree.
"People aren’t expecting what we’re willing to bring,” Showers said.
It’s her team now.
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