10 Questions with Vanessa Harris

Favorite pregame meal: Sub sandwiches.


Favorite band: Rascal Flatts.


Favorite movie: Beauty and the Beast


What do you like to do in your free time: That doesn't come very often, but I like to hang out with my friends and family.


Favorite and least favorite class:My favorite is French and least favorite is probably pre-calculus.


Biggest fear: I'm scared of the dark.


Dream vacation: Paris, France.


Dream job: Crime scene investigator.


If you could have any superpower, what would you pick:  Super speed.


Plans after graduating from high school: Try to play volleyball at BYU and I may go on a mission.

 

FARMINGTON — The Piedra Vista volleyball team is again a top contender for a state volleyball championship, and Vanessa Harris is a big reason why.

The junior setter recorded 75 assists as the Lady Panthers opened their district schedule last week with wins against Farmington and Kirtland Central.

Harris is in her second year running the PV attack, and head coach Ron Becker says her game has improved as she has gained more experience.

"She runs the team. I think she's not just making good sets, but also choosing good setting locations," Becker said. "That's probably the biggest part of her game I've seen develop this year is her choices. She's watching what the defenses are doing to help our offense succeed."

The PV coach said his setter's decision-making is vital this season, especially because the Lady Panthers don't have one big hitter like they did last season with Katie Hegarty.

"This year, it's even more important. Everybody is contributing. She's finding the best match up," Becker said. "Last year, Katie could pretty much hit through anybody most of the time. These guys have to be smart in finding the holes."

Harris said her teammates have continually worked on their game, and their improvements have made her job setting the hitters easier.

"I find that because of how amazing our passing has got, I haven't been having to move as much, and I can focus more on form," Harris said. "Since we don't have that one hitter, we're able to spread it out more and confuse the other teams. That's been a helpful aspect to our game, because they're unaware of who I'm going to set to."

The No. 2-ranked Lady Panthers have their sights set on a return to the state championship and have used last year's five-set loss to St. Pius X in the final as motivation throughout the season.

"We were able to find our little flaws to work on this year. We've come together more this year as a team," Harris said.

Becker is proud of the way Harris and her teammates have worked even harder after such a tough defeat in the final.

"They've all stepped up. They were extremely disappointed losing that match after being so close, but I feel like they've all put it on their shoulders to step up and pick up any slack," Becker said. "It's one of the best teams I've had at being well-rounded and working hard. They have so much fight and tenacity and play with so much heart."

PV has played a strong schedule this year, facing all but one of the top 12 teams in 4A, and Becker hopes that experience will help out the Lady Panthers in the state tournament.

"That's a huge plus for us. We know what to expect, and we're not going into any match not knowing who they are," Becker said.

Harris said the experience helps, but if PV plays its best, it doesn't matter who is on the other side of the net.

"We have the perfect team to come out on top this year," she said. "We have great passers. We've worked on our serves all year, and our hitters have been doing such a great job. We've all been work hard toward our goal, which is state."

Joshua Perry covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 or jperry@daily-times.com. Follow him on Twitter @jperrysuu.