When speaking of her team, two words that repeatedly came to mind for new Harlingen South Lady Hawks head volleyball coach Anissa Lucio were talent and potential.
After last season’s nearly winless district campaign, the objective this season for the Lady Green Birds is simple — get back to winning.
Understandably, everything is easier said than done, and in athletics it’s no different.
After being asked, “What do you believe can turn a 1-13 team into a playoff contender in one year?” Coach Lucio’s response was: “Discipline and the belief in winning. We have a lot of potential and our girls see that, so it’s just a matter of staying disciplined and believing in our talent.”
One of Lucio’s deciding factors to join Harlingen South was because of its storied volleyball past.
n In 1998, the team finished with a record of 27-9
n In 1999, the Lady Hawks were 26-5 and an area finalist
n In 2002, the team went 28-4 and reached the Sweet 16
And it didn’t stop there.
n In 2003, the Harlingen South reached the final four of the Class 4A state playoffs becoming the first high school in Valley history to do so.
n From 2004-08, reaching the Sweet 16 of the playoffs almost became a habit as the Lady Hawks were one of the most successful volleyball programs in the Rio Grande Valley.
However, over the next three years the program “settled” for a combination of regional quarterfinal appearances and an area-round showing.
Since 2011 the Lady Hawks volleyball program has failed to reach the postseason.
No doubt the Lady Hawks will want to replicate the success of its previous teams and for motivation all they need to do is look up at the banners that permeate the gymnasium ceiling.