Lady Cougars look to “prove em’ wrong” for 2023 volleyball season

WWSB ABC7 News at 6pm
Published: Aug. 21, 2023 at 9:25 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 22, 2023 at 7:54 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - When it comes to the Lady Cougars volleyball team, many on the Suncoast have questions about how the team will perform, but the girls feel they already have the answers.

The girls want to bring home a state at the end of the season.

Head coach Chad Davis is entering his third year as the lead man in charge and he tells me he feels this is his best group yet.

“We’re really excited,” Davis said. “We’re going to get ready to defy expectations for this year. Numerous people think we’re going to take a backwards step as a program, and we believe and know that we’re better than last year.”

The Lady Cougars went 18-10 last year and fell short in the playoffs to Clearwater Central Catholic.

This season., they will wear a message on the back of their shirts: “Prove Em’ Wrong. It’s not just a slogan, it’s their rallying cry for the 2023 season.

“It’s Something that we’re fully embracing,” Davis said. “We all feel that. Players and coaches because we’re going to a program here at this outstanding school of ours. We don’t ever take a step backwards. We’re always moving forward.”

Senior captain, Helena Hebda, actually developed the phrase on the shirts for this year, and she says she can see a fire in the eye of her teammates, including the newcomers.

“I think even though we lost some great players, not only do we have some new players coming in, but everyone has also gotten much stronger since then,” Hebda said. “I definitely don’t think there’s going to be drop off from last year. I think we’re going to be even stronger than we were.”

Although it remains to be seen what the Lady Cougars will do on the volleyball court this season, outside hitter and junior, Izzy Russell, says to expect a season full of must see surprises.

“Don’t count us out,” Russell said. “We’re a really small team. We’re really scrappy. And I think just being resilient, we’re really gritty. I think that’s what’s going to push through. We know we’re going to be good. We know we’re going to work hard and make a name, a new name for Cardinal Mooney. So, just let them say what they’re going to say. We’ll prove it to them later.”

The Lady Cougars begin their quest of taking the next step as a program on Tuesday, August 22, when they travel to Port Charlotte to take on the Lady Pirates.