When the Northwest Lady Texans take the floor Monday, new faces will abound.
The Lady Texans graduated 10 seniors from last year’s District 4-5A runnerup that went 29-14. Northwest also underwent a change on the bench as longtime Lady Texans coach Dayna Horak retired.
Even with the changes, expectations remain high for the Lady Texans as they try to continue their string of playoff appearances.
In her first season, Amy Gaston is looking to establish a strong work ethic built around improving every time her team touches the floor.
“My expectations are to get better every day,” she said. “I firmly believe you are getting 1 percent better or 1 percent worse. The girls are embracing that. They are also understanding what it looks like to work hard.
“The playoff expectations are still in the program. But winning playoff games is what we want. That starts with competing day-in and day-out.”
While working with several new faces, Gaston will have a trio of veterans to help.
In the critical role of setter, Morgan Baker returns to bring court experience for a team with several young hitters.
“She’s a great competitor and has done everything I’ve asked of her,” Gaston said.
At middle blocker, two-year starter Tessa Harfield is back. Gaston has high expectations for the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville commitment.
After a standout freshman year, Camryn Berryhill is expected to be one of Northwest’s leading attackers. She burst on the scene last year, putting down 257 kills and making 203 digs and 28 blocks.
“There’s a lot more than people have seen out of Camryn,” Gaston said. “As a sophomore, she should be more effective.”
The Lady Texans will face a heavy challenge in the new 5-6A from Byron Nelson, Keller Central, Keller and Denton Guyer and Ryan.