By Kevin Posival
Killeen Daily Herald
When Killeen volleyball coach Shelly Harris thought about her behavior on the bench the last two years, she decided she wouldn't want to play for a screaming and yelling coach, either.
So, the third-year Lady Roos coach has begun to take a different approach - focus on the positive.
After an opening game loss Tuesday night, where the Lady Roos' offense never materialized, Harris still told the team she was pleased with its passing.
After that, she didn't have to look too hard for positives.
Killeen served eight aces in Game 2 to rebound and then rolled to a 19-25, 25-23, 25-15, 25-18 win over rival Harker Heights in Killeen's home opener.
"I'm going to try to take the positive rout with these kids because I really, I don't know that I would want to play for me the way I coached the first two games this year because I was frustrated with them and I thought, 'well, that's not going to work,'" Harris said.
What has worked is the Lady Roos' practice schedule, which Harris said, has included one to one and half hours every day working on serving and receiving "because if we can't serve-receive, we can't hit."
In all, the Lady Roos (3-6) had 18 aces, led by DeQuise Robinson's eight.
Robinson also had three kills and a block. Carle Foster led the Lady Roos with four kills, two aces, a block and an assist. Esha Atkins had 13 assists, a kill, a block and an ace.
Bianca Patterson led Heights (5-5) with nine kills, three blocks and an ace. Anna Gibbons had six kills and three blocks and Taylor Denney had 13 assists and three kills.
"Serve-receive is the kind of thing, sometimes it works for you, sometimes it doesn't," said Harker Heights coach Chris Wiley. "We tried a couple of different patterns. I give them the credit. They were serving well and they did a better job tonight."
Heights took a 5-1 lead in Game 2 on five straight Killeen errors before the Lady Roos' aces started mounting. One of Patterson's four kills in the game tied the game at 22, but Killeen scored three of the final four points on kills by Foster and Takeisha Howard and an ace by Robinson.
The Lady Knights had just eight kills in the final two games and the Lady Roos' serving continued to set the pace. Killeen had five aces in Game 3, including two by Robinson to close out the win, and four in Game 4.
Heights trailed by as many nine in Game 4, but cut the gap to four, 21-17, on a Killeen violation, but Atkins assisted a Foster kill, scored on a block and won the match with, fittingly, an ace.
"Our first eight games, we've really struggled with our serving but tonight, I just said, 'I want you to look at me, we're going to put the ball where I think we need to put in on the court,'" Harris said. "Every single one of them, it was a focus thing.
"I hate to have played this well right now, really, because I really do want to continue to build."
Contact Kevin Posival at email@example.com or (254) 501-7562.