VOLLEYBALL SEASON WAS A HIT

The girls volleyball team had a season to remember

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VOLLEYBALL SEASON WAS A HIT

Sophomore Rachel Ladd hits the ball at the game against Parkway West.

Sophomore Rachel Ladd hits the ball at the game against Parkway West.

Wagner Portraits

Sophomore Rachel Ladd hits the ball at the game against Parkway West.

Wagner Portraits

Wagner Portraits

Sophomore Rachel Ladd hits the ball at the game against Parkway West.

Abby Prywitch, Managing Editor

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One team. 12 Girls. This year’s varsity girls volleyball team has as tight bond which many of the players think shows on the court.

“This season I think our team is closer than we have ever been. We have done so many team bonding activities which help improve our team morale,” senior Katelyn Matzdorf said.

Sophomore Jadyn Wallis’s favorite memory from the season so far is their pregame dance battles to get their energy up and in the mood for their next game.

“It got everyone together and brought everyone up,” Wallis said.

The team is super supportive of each other on the court and shows high energy throughout the games.

“The team’s energy level has grown throughout the season. During games, everyone on the court and bench is jumping up and down after every point and our enthusiasm and positive vibes help us perform well,” Christiani said.

This season many players have stepped up in different ways. Freshman Rachel Ladd starts on varsity.

“[Rachel] has done a great job joining the team and fitting in great. All of the juniors who were new to varsity this year have also done a great job stepping up transitioning from JV to varsity,” Matzdorf said.

The team has had multiple injuries, so some players have been playing in other positions than they normally do. Senior Abbey Poe typically plays defense, but due to injuries she has taken on the role of playing some on the right side.

“She has really stepped into that role perfectly,” Matzdorf said.

Senior Mercedes Browder played right side last year, and this year she is a 6-rotation outside hitter.

“In the role she plays now, she has a lot of responsibility and has shown herself as an asset to our team,” Christiani said.

Wallis has played middle ever since she started playing in second grade. This season she started playing some right side.

Junior Grace Meier has also played multiple positions this season.

“She was switched to so many different positions, between setting, middle, and right side and more. She was a huge contributor to all of our games and was a huge helper when many of our teammates became injured,” Wallace said.

Some girls also play club volleyball. Senior Lana Christiani has played club for Rockwood Thunder VBC since she was 12-years-old. She feels that it has helped her a lot because of all of the extra court time at a competitive level.

“Club teaches the mental side of the game, and even if it isn’t volleyball, the lessons we have learned outside of the court or field show through our competitive edge in games,” Christiani said.

Senior Katelyn Matzdorf plays the libero position. Matzdorf has played on a club team since she was 10-years-old. She believes that anyone who plays club in between high school season has a big advantage because they are constantly getting more touches on the ball.

“With volleyball, just like other sports, practice makes you so much better, so if you are practicing two or three times a week during the off season, you are improving so much,” Mattzdorf said.

Wallis believes that Matzdorf is positive and super uplifting to everyone on the team.

“Before every game, during every time out, and in play, she always has our back and gives us advice for each team and for ourselves to keep going and to keep fighting even when it might be hard,” Wallis said.

Sophomore Kaye Tate is a swing player meaning she plays with both JV and varsity. Tate feels that playing on both JV and varsity has helped her grow as a player because, in her opinion, varsity takes a different mental capacity.

“If I have a bad JV game I have to forget about that game and do better on varsity,” Tate said.

JV volleyball has had one of the best fall seasons, with an impressive record of 20-2. Sophomore Elle Gallen’sfavorite memory of the season is winning first place in their first tournament.

“I’ve grown as a player by getting my hits more consistent and harder,” Gallen said.

Tate’s favorite practice was a scrimmage against a surprising oppopent.

“My favorite memory from this season was playing our parents because it was a relaxed and mellow practice and it was fun for our parents to see what we experience on the court,” Tate said.

A main focus for the JV team at practice has been constant pressure.

“About halfway through the season we realized we played our best games when the score was 23-23, despite those games giving Coach Keller a heart attack,” Tate said, jokingly,  “they made us a stronger team.”.

Going into districts the varsity team is ranked second which is the highest the program has been ranked since I’ve been at PCH,” Christiani said.