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NORTH LITTLE ROCK VOLLEYBALL | Cats season ends at state tournament

They were young. They were hungry, and the North Little Rock Charging Wildcats managed to make some noise in a very competitive 7A/6A-East volleyball conference.

First year coach Leslie Joshua expressed a bit of surprise after her team lost to Springdale Har-Ber in Tuesday’s opening round of the 7A state tournament. The Lady Charging Wildcats were not supposed to be this good this quickly.

“They gelled really fast,” Joshua said. “I really was surprised.”

The Lady Charging Wildcats managed to reel off six consecutive conference wins and finish 10-4, which was good enough for third in the league and slotted them as a four seed in the state tournament.

Although they stumbled a bit down the stretch of the season, the accomplishments of such a young team are not considered small by their first year head coach.

Where do the Lady Charging Wildcats go from here?

“We work,” Joshua said.

After some time away from the floor, the Lady Charging Wildcats will reconvene, and not only practice, but also Joshua said she hopes her players will opt to play Junior Olympic volleyball.

Joshua herself is very involved in offseason Junior Olympic competition, and encourages her players to continue the competition, even in other sports.

“I want them to play other sports,” Joshua said. “I want them to play [Junior Olympic]. A couple of them will run track. I hope they all run track.”

The outlook at the beginning of the season for Joshua and the Lady Charging Wildcats was to simply get better. No pressure.

Now with the success, should volleyball fans expect more from this team? Joshua issued an emphatic “yes!”

“I expect more from this team,” Joshua said.

Although specific results weren’t outlined, Joshua said the focus would be to simply get better.

They certainly have a good year to build from going into the offseason and 2014.

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