Shenk Gymnasium was loaded with parents, family members and students as the Lady Blue Jays volleyball team lined up along the court for introductions. First-year coach Basil Nevill thanked everyone for their attendance and after a few words allowed each of the girls to say their name, grade and position.
Afterward the varsity team warmed up for their match against the junior varsity squad who had displayed their talents against the freshmen team.
Score was not officially kept as this was a time for the teams to workout any kinks in the system and get actual court time, but the varsity squad dominated the first set.
Savannah Adams, Grace Kroeger and Iyona Bryant all laid out hard kills on their JV counterparts for points while showing aggressive net presence.
Delani List, Katelyn Craft and Sarah Hallum placed serves in the right zone to each earn aces. Hallum finished with two in the first set.
This aggressive play can be attributed to the girls having experience playing alongside each other for some time Nevill said.
“It’s definitely good,” he said. “I think that’s one thing, these girls know each other. They’ve played together a long time, they get along real well together and they have a lot of fun.”
Nevill said he saw something’s that he liked while watching the girls, but realizes that there is still refining to do to get them to the next level of play.
“I thought I saw a lot of really good things,” he said. “Definitely we are a work in progress but we are doing things that we need to do. I think concentration at times we were a little lax. We will work on some reps and making sure we can focus and finish.”
The ladies played aggressive throughout, diving for digs, attacking the net and controlling passes, which kept the mood light and fun. Nevill said that despite the teams lack of height the strength they have is strength it self.
“That’s one of our best things is strength,” he said. “We have very good strength and conditioning program and we have a lot of girls that can overcome the bit of a height deficit that we have.”
Nevill has decided on five players, including libero, who he has deemed as starters leaving two spots to fill before the Lady Blue Jays take on Topeka West High School on the road Thursday.
“I have a few,” he said. “Savannah Adams will be an outside hitter, Reece Boland as a setter, Sarah Hallum with be our starting lib(ero), Delani List will be our Defensive Specialist and Iyonna Bryant will be our starting middle for us.”
No captains have been named as Nevill is looking for the leader to step up and take control of the team.
As the ladies get ready for their first game, Nevill said that he will work on getting the fine details of the game set, though overall he fells they are ready mentally.
“I think come game time, next Thursday, that we are ready mentally,” he said.