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Aggie Volleyball: Set for Success

By Alyssa Fox on 08/15/2017 Head Coach Matt Heffner sees great things on the horizon for Panhandle State Volleyball this season.—Justine Gaskamp photo Head Coach Matt Heffner sees great things on the horizon for Panhandle State Volleyball this season.—Justine Gaskamp photo

Goodwell, Okla.—With the start of the new season just around the corner, Oklahoma Panhandle State Volleyball is gearing up to leave it all on the court. Former Panhandle State Assistant Coach Matt Heffner steps in for this new year as Head Coach eager and enthusiastic to kick start the season.

Coach Heffner affirms his team is geared and ready after the completion of their two-a-day practices leading up to the scrimmage against Seward this Wednesday, Aug. 16. The squad has been implementing new offensive and defensive systems in addition to putting in the hours of hard work and effort to propel them forward into the busy season and the new NAIA division.

Succeeding the Seward County scrimmage, Panhandle Volleyball will take on two tournaments; The Sooner Red River Challenge Tournament will kick off in Fort Worth over the weekend of the Aug. 18-19, followed by the Aggies Challenge Tournament Sept. 1-2 at our own Oscar Williams Field House.

Though a double tournament yields a hefty seasonal start, Coach Heffner notes many a shining light breaking through on his new Panhandle team. Many notable standouts have made their way to the forefront of an all-around outstanding group of athletes. Freshmen Essence Kays and Quiara Poindexter are off to a fantastic start and have a great chance to make a substantial impact going forward through their starting season with the Aggies, states Heffner; and senior setters Julia Ibarra and Gabby Cruz have established themselves as core leaders of their team. Sophomore Kendra Butler also made literal headlines this past July, as she graced the webpage on the "Top 17 College Volleyball Players to Watch in '17" list.

With principal pieces and a solid foundation of dedicated young women, Panhandle Volleyball is sure to keep building to new heights this year. Coach Heffner praises his team for working hard to make the many positive changes leading up to the week of the first tournament. Heffner expects that with this momentum and a great outlook for the upcoming season, the bar is set high enough to make the Sooner Conference and even finish in the top eight of the league. He senses his squad will definitely 'make some noise' in the playoffs.

The coach concludes, "We are trying to create a culture for Aggie Volleyball, not only as athletes on the court but also as leaders in the classroom. We want to set high expectations for ourselves and work hard to accomplish our goals as a team. We hope to be inspiring to ourselves, our school and to our community, and hope many will come out to support us during this undoubtedly winning season."