The Bridgeport Sissies did not have the kind of season they had hoped for in 2012.
A fourth-place finish in District 9-3A left them out of the playoffs for the first time in three years. Leah Guinn and Tylar Chapa are looking to change that fortune this time around.
“They are going to be highly depended on,” head coach Rebekah Cummings said. “There are no off days for them. Everyone knows we are going be leaning on them.”
Chapa started every game for the Sissies as a junior. This season she will be viewed as the leading outside hitter.
“Everything is going to rotate around her,” Cummings said. “She is going to have to step up as being smarter as a hitter.”
Guinn had a much different 2012. A summer camp basketball injury in July left her with a torn ACL and meniscus.
She had surgery a month later, ending her junior season.
“It was extremely hard, but it was a learning experience because I got to see the court from a different view,” Guinn said. “I learned a lot of stuff from sitting on the sideline.”
Guinn attended every game and practice doing what she could to help her teammates throughout the volleyball and basketball seasons. She didn’t fully recover until April.
Chapa said it was tough going through the season without her good friend and teammate.
“We lost our best passer,” Chapa said. “It was hard adjusting. She sat on the bench every game and came to every practice. I love Leah and I expected to play with her and I’m glad she is back now.”
Cummings, now in her second season, had no clue what kind of athlete she was losing when she stepped in to take over the program last summer.
“I had no idea how much we needed her till she came back in the off-season,” Cummings said. “Everybody talked highly of her athletic ability, and how much she was going to be missed on the court.”
A strong off-season and summer have strengthened Guinn’s knee to 100 percent.
“It feels great,” Guinn said. “Sometimes it swells up a little bit, but other than that it hasn’t stopped me or anything.”
When two-a-day workouts began Monday, Guinn looked like she hadn’t missed a step, moving right back into her role as libero.
“She hit the ground running,” Cummings said. “We are real excited to have her back, and I can’t wait to see her enjoy her senior year.”
Guinn has decided to not wear a brace – which brings up a few concerns about the knee holding up.
“Leah is only worried about the contest right now,” Cummings said. “She is very responsible, and I know she wouldn’t do anything to hurt her or her team. She looks great physically.”
Guinn is glad to be back to concentrating on winning games, and getting the opportunity to do that with her teammate and friend.
“Tylar is an awesome teammate,” Guinn said. “She is going to lead us to a lot of wins, because she is our strongest outside hitter.”
With this offensive and defensive duo, the Sissies’ may have just the combination they need to get back to the postseason.