Order in the Court: Volleyball prepares for remaining Conference games

In the midst of their season, the volleyball team focuses on practicing for Conference games

The squeaky gym floors, the blow of a whistle and her teammates cheering her on are sounds all too familiar to Julianna Kisel, junior. With so many new players on the volleyball team, two tournaments early in the season helped the team learn what they need to focus on at practicemainly communication. The volleyball team won their first Conference match against Lowell on Aug. 30, making their overall Conference record 1-1. Their next game is Sept. 12 against Lake Central.

JUMP START Leaping up, Gracyn Gilliard, freshman, blocks the opponents spike attempt at a home game against Lowell on Aug. 30. “I always love working on making strong friendships with my teammates because it can really affect how you play,” Mackenzie Sellers, sophomore, said. “For the team, I just hope for everyone to try their best. If someone is giving it their all, there really isn’t much more you can ask for.”

“We just need to communicate more and I feel very confident that we are already getting better and better at that,” Kisel said. “We are super excited to crush it at our next tournament. We’re putting in the work.”

As a junior, Kisel has watched the team undergo many changes, such as a new coach this year. Founder of  Dunes Volleyball Club in LaPorte, IN, Coach Rick Ashmore, varsity volleyball coach, has coached at numerous high schools in Northwest Indiana, such as Lake Central and Michigan City. His goals for this season are to key in on strengthening skills for Conference and State matches. With new athletic trainers and other staff, the team looks forward to upcoming changes in coaching.

“I really hope to see more connections between the coaches and the girls this year,” Mackenzie Sellers, sophomore, said. “I feel like that is a big part of a team, not just having good relationships with your teammates but also your coaches. I also hope to get new perspectives on things from the new coaching staff.”

In her last high school volleyball season, Lauren Wallace, senior, looks forward to watching the team grow as a whole and hopes to hit her 1,000th kill mark. In volleyball, a kill is an offensive or defensive move that scores a point for the team. Committed D1 to the University of Texas at El Paso, Wallace is most excited to strengthen her volleyball skills, travel with her team and room with her best friend, Mila Popovic. Also committed to UTEP but for beach volleyball, Popovic is currently a senior at Marian Catholic High School. 

“When I first got the offer to play in college, I was really surprised because it was my first phone call with UTEP and maybe five minutes into the phone call, they offered,” Wallace said.