Ingram volleyball

In this 2018 file photo, the Ingram volleyball team celebrates a critical point during a 2018 match. The Lady Warriors will unofficially kick off the season today when they play in the alumni game.

Ever since off-season workouts began in February, coach Tony Vela has been looking forward to the upcoming Ingram Tom Moore volleyball season.

And who can blame him? After all, there’s plenty of reasons for Ingram fans to be excited about their volleyball team. The Lady Warriors return seven contributors from last year’s team that collected 22 wins, the most wins at Ingram since at least 2002 when MaxPreps first started keeping track of team records.

“I think if we all get on the same page from coaches to players, we can do some really good things,” Vela said. “A lot of our kids are pretty experienced now.”

But before they can officially open their season on Tuesday against Class 4A school Gonzales, they will face a stiff test from some of Ingram’s best former volleyball players when they compete in the alumni match today at 10:15 a.m. at Ingram’s gym. They will also scrimmage Medina at 9 a.m. Both are open to the public.

“I think it’s going to be a fairly, good competitive match for us,” Vela said. “And I hope it is because it will help us get better.”

And that remains Vela’s biggest priority at the moment: Doing everything he can to help his players improve. There’s a reason he made Ingram’s preseason schedule as challenging as possible — he wants them to be ready when District 26-3A play begins on Sept. 27.

But before the Lady Warriors can turn their attention to the challenges that await them, they first have to get past the Ingram alumni.

“If we can get every player on our roster to really gel with one another on and off the court, and build that camaraderie and chemistry, it’s going to be a special year for us,” Vela said. “We are young obviously still. It’s crazy when you say that after having everyone back and you still say that you are young. But I am pleased with where we are right now. I think it’s going to be fun.”

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