Western International looking to rebuild volleyball program, tradition
By Harry M. Anderson, Jr.
Special to the Michigan Citizen
DETROIT —“This has been one of my better teams,” Henry said in the post-game interview. “The key this year was that the team played together. They stuck together and stayed focused. This is my second time the girls made it this far.
“I really enjoyed this group of girls. If I can keep them together and try to build the junior varsity with a freshman team I feel we can go further.”
Next season, Henry said the Cowgirls varsity will be comprised of one senior, five juniors and three sophomores.
Henry said it was also an honor to host this year’s championships for the second straight year.
This year’s squad was led by senior server Gina Moore and senior middle blocker Paula Hernandez.
“During my four years we were very competitive,” Moore said. “We were because as a team we worked together and weren’t fighting amongst ourselves.
“Every year I learned so much such as different positions, moves and how to play the game. Coach Henry also taught us how to stay focused.
“It feels good to play for Western this year because we never got this far. Getting here to the championships was an achievement in itself. Coach (Henry) pushed us to get here. She’s the best coach I ever had because she kept me motivated. It just has been a great experience all four years.”
“We learned to be a family,” said Hernandez. “When Southwestern closed we accepted the players who came as family. Since this was my last season it was a more of a challenge.
“I think we did well this year because we learned to have fun and got a along. We don’t fight each other. We’re at our best when we have each other’s back. We made the PSL playoffs twice was also an achievement. Coach Henry did a real good job with us.”
As for after Western High, Hernandez has ambitions to play collegiate volleyball for Madonna, Marygrove, Michigan-Dearborn or Wayne State. Moore, on the other hand, would like to go to play collegiate volleyball, but would like to as a walk-on.
“I would like to try as a walk-on at a local college, but I would know would be a tough position,” Moore said. “I’ll think about which local college I would try.”