School is now out for the summer, so it must be time for volleyball’s preseason.
So it seems, at least, especially for highly-regarded players such as Mansfield’s Molly Phillips.
Phillips, who will be entering her junior year when the school doors reopen, is perhaps into her busiest time of the year as she readies for another varsity season.
Selected to the first-team all-district and all-academic team and the District 4-6A Outstanding Blocker of the Year, Phillips isn’t slowing down to appreciate the designations.
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She’s now full-throttle on preparing for the USA Volleyball national tournament in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the first week of July as a member of Texas Image.
With volleyball starting on Aug. 1 for the Lady Tigers, Phillips will also squeeze in a camp at the University of Texas in Austin and also spend a week in California for beach volleyball training.
While in Austin, Phillips will get to meet other commits and recruits after having given a verbal commitment to the Longhorns recently.
“It will be nice to just play without worrying,” she said of getting her decision-making off her shoulders prior to the club season commencing.
Throughout her summer training, Phillips said her focus is to become a more well-rounded threat.
“I want to be a six-rotation player,” Phillips said. She has previously been predominantly on the front as a blocker and outside hitter.
“I want to get better all around. Sand helps with that, as you get more touches on the ball,” she said of her decision to spend more time training in with beach volleyball, which she began about two months ago. Her trip to California will further entrench her in the skills needed to be more of a weapon on the court.
“It makes such a huge difference just playing on sand, and the play is a lot different. It will make me faster and stronger for the indoor game.”
At 6-4, Phillips is a threat at the net and continues to gain valuable experience. She said she started playing volleyball for just four years now.
“I was six feet in fifth or sixth grade,” Phillips said. “I played basketball when I was younger, but decided this last year to just play volleyball. It’s such a team sport,” she said prior to last season.
Any improvement garnered will be put to use toward fulfilling a goal of getting back to the playoffs next season.
“It’s definitely been a focus in the offseason,” Phillips said. “We’re already better and more focused, and there’s more drive to make it to the playoffs.”