Volleyball team prepares for second half of their season

The girls’ volleyball team cheers after winning the first set against Providence by a score of 25-18 on Wednesday, Sept. 15. Photo by Brock Kennedy.

Story by Zoe Nowling.

Junior Caroline Hilbrich spikes the ball over the net as teammates and coach Bart Powell cheer during a practice.

The girls’ volleyball team has a lot to be excited about as this season kicks off well, as they want to live up to the expectations set for them. They come to the middle of their season 12-9 and 3-1 in conference play. 

“This year we are finally capable of winning sectionals. We have a chance at state this year — all we have to do is play our best every game and we will get there,” said senior Riley Chumbley. 

The coaches have high expectations and so do the players for this season. They hope that success will be following them as they get further into the season and closer to sectionals and the tough competition.

Specifically, Hilbrich said that the team believes their work ethic will push them past sectionals and on to regionals.

FCVB is focused on winning matches and continuing to get the hard work in that they need to be conference champs and have a shot at a very deep state tournament run; to accomplish this, they must, as their coach says, “beat the game.”

“You have to score 25 points and you want to do that as efficiently as you can, I don’t like scoring points on other teams’ errors, I like scoring points on our successes,” said coach Bart Powell.  

As this group goes into games that are not as important they are focused on playing their game and improving with each play they make on the court.

“Going into games that aren’t as important as we know, like if teams not as good as us, we work on things we need to work on like running plays and doing stuff that we haven’t perfected yet so that we can be a better team for the games that do matter,” said Hilbrich. 

For this group, a positive mentality is another aspect of how they carry themselves but also play on the court and carry that energy into everything they do as a team.

“Our mentality, I would say we have a really good mentality right now, just keep working hard and you can’t earn anything if you don’t work hard for it, so keep working hard and then we will see a good outcome for it,” said Hilbrich. 

Looking ahead is important. This season’s sectional is what is in the back of their mind, so they expect to have improved and hustled to get to where they want to be before that game both play and team-wise.

“I expect us to be in our prime. We are a very good team and can pass and hit the ball extremely well. Before sectionals I expect us to have our heads screwed on right and go into sectionals very confident,” said Chumbley.  

The friendships and the competitiveness between each other on the team have helped this program and will continue to do so as they get further into the season and have higher-stakes games on their hands.

“It is improved a lot like this program, it makes it so much easier to be on the court with people you want to be on the court with, be with people you like to play with and have fun with,” said Hilbrich. 

This process is why this team is continuing to improve this team and make more of a mark with each passing year. This process is driving the success this program has had in the past few years with many sectional appearances and conference wins.

“We have to have good connections with each other and also with our coaches because our coaches are also very important for the team, so if we have good connections with our coaches and teammates it will be a great season,” said Hilbrich. 

Fitness both mentally and physically, on and off the court is important for success this season, and makes the difficult parts of the season easier to get through, and makes the athletes stronger individually and collectively.

“We do a lot of conditioning stuff; we did a lot during the summer, we did lots of running and stuff that can mentally put you down, but you have to push yourself through it cause it’s physically hard, but also mentally hard, so you have got to push through it; then it gets us mentally ready for the season,” said Hilbrich. 

Floyd volleyball has been a program on the rise the last few years and has had some great teams and this year’s group is no different. They bring a hard work ethic to the competition they play in and that is a part of the program’s rise.

“We are a lot of fun to watch, we never give up, we work hard, we never let a ball drop without effort, we are very talkative and even the people in the stands are fun to cheer with and fun to watch, so it’s a fun game to watch,” said Hilbrich. 

This program’s history inspires this group every time they take the court in a Floyd jersey, semi-state appearances, sectionals, and state appearances are something to look up for these ladies as they compete this season.

“We have a good history as a program like we have made it semi-state and state, so we know that we have a lot to look up to, and I think it motivates us to work hard and to live up to those expectations,” said Hilbrich. 

This has led to another turning point not only skillset-wise but plays and practice-wise for this team. When the games, tournaments, and competition increasingly improves, they need to as well and that is a big part of this team’s operation on the court. The players are aware that this change needs to happen so they are making it now.

“We have experienced some big wins, but we’ve also gone through some very tough losses. We are working hard to make changes and soon you should see an FCVB team who is very good,”said junior Lauren Boehnlein.

The team is getting used to the competition they haven’t seen before or haven’t played in a while. These teams are other strong competitive teams that can match FCVB and show the team what is going to be expected of them to reach their high expectations.

“We used to play manual and then we didn’t play them for ten years then we got them back on the schedule, We play North Oldham at the end of the season and we haven’t played them as well,” said Powell. 

This season is a turning point in this team’s skill set and how they play on the court. This potential has been seen by the players and coaches and those involved in the program. They are planning to show that this trend of improvement will not end with this squad.

“I believe that the turning point skill set wise is now. We went on a five-game losing streak to some of the best teams and we competed. I think we got tired of losing so we started being smarter with our skills,” said Chumbley.

FCVB wants to continue to push past obstacles on its way to sectionals and beyond. The coaches and players have emphasized practice the way you want to play, and for them, that means bringing that competitiveness against each other at practice.

“In practice, we work on being super competitive and vocally active. Players have to show up every day to practice to work hard and compete to make sure they earn a spot in the next game,” said  Boehnlein. ”No spot on the court is ever guaranteed, especially this year with all the talent. Because of all the competitiveness in practice, this makes us even more competitive during games. It makes us go out on the court with a competitive mindset.”

Tough competition has shown this team not only what they are capable of, but it has also shown them how important it is to improve collectively and individually on a team that has high expectations for themselves.

“Playing good competition comes with tough losses sometimes. However, good competition and tough losses also come with lots of chances for us to learn and grow as a team,” said Boehnlein. “Competition has made us want to work harder and be more competitive with other teams. It has taught us to never get comfortable and that we have to work hard to get the result we want.”

The girls take on a big conference championship matchup tonight that is sure to be a competitive and hard-fought matchup for the championship of the HHC (Hoosier Hills conference). This program  has a lot of expectations riding on this game.

“It will be a very physical game, physical in volleyball is a fast hard paced big swing match that’s the kind of match I see happening,” said Powell.

As they prepare for the second half of their season their work ethic is key.

 

 

 

Boys’ Tennis Team Looks to Continue Tradition of Excellence With New Coach

Junior Braden Poe receives the ball from one of his teammates and sends it back over the net during after-school practice on August 11th, 2021. Photo by Trinity Bramer.

Story by Alec Elrod.

“We start warming up and getting loose, then we stretch and run a little and we all get together and he tells us what to do and we split off and play,” said  junior Ben Raymer.

Everyday after-school, the boys’ tennis team meets to prepare for the upcoming season. Before every practice, the team stretches and warms-up together, before meeting up and talking with their coaches. The team knows that they have a lot to play for this year.

The team had a solid season last year. The Highlanders had several prominent seniors, including all-state singles Gabe Cora, all of whom now graduated. They also lost head coach Nick Roby and assistant coach Robert Kleeman. With all of these big changes, it leaves the question: what will they do to rebuild?

Guiding the team will be two new coaches, Mark Haviland as the head and Evan McCullough as the assistant. Coach Haviland has a lot of experience with tennis. He works at Southern Indiana Tennis Center (SITC), where he gives lessons and coaches.

“We’ve had open courts for over a month at this point; typically got between 18 to 24 guys out each time. So they’ve gotten a lot of reps in; lots of forehands, lots of backhands, lots of serves,” said Haviland. 

Haviland is helping them not just grow as players, but as teammates too.

“I think our coach has helped us bond a lot as a team. We’ll do Indian runs, which aren’t the most fun, but it gets us close together, and if people are struggling, then we can help them up,” said sophomore singles player Ben Lammert.

 During his freshman season, Lammert proved to be a big asset to the team. He played seven matches for varsity, three of which were singles. This year, Lammert will be playing with freshman Riley Doddridge and senior Isaac Anderton at the top three singles spots for FC.

“It means a lot to be one of the leaders, especially on a team like this,” said Anderton. Isaac and his brother, Cole Anderton, class of 2021, were two top players on the team last year. Cole and current junior Braden Poe played number two doubles in regionals, and they ended up winning their match. Isaac played singles in regionals last year, and won his match as well.

Jeffersonville ended up defeating the Highlanders 2-3 at regionals. They took first and third singles as well as first doubles. This year, however, the team feels more confident, and wants to aim beyond the Red Devils. 

“Jasper is probably going to be the team to beat this year,” said senior doubles player Landon Hodges. Hodges will play with Poe at the number two spot for doubles, with junior Jeremy Mueller and senior Colin Jacobi playing at the one. The duos hope to face the Jasper Wildcats at semi-state this year.

“Step one is winning the conference,” said coach Haviland. “Beyond that, we’re just trying to advance past last year.” 

The boys tennis team has a lot ahead of them. If they can overcome obstacles in the upcoming season, they have great potential in meeting their goals.

Virtual Students Come Back To In-Person School After a Year

Art by Scarlett Hatton.

Story by Kaitlyn Winchester.

This past year has been filled with uncertainty, questions and patience. However, through it all, the use of technology has played a big part in everyone’s daily routine.  For students and teachers, it became the new way to communicate and teach over screen. Now, after a year of full-time virtual school, junior Hallie Mosier walks through the hallways for the first time. 

Mosier said, “I felt that I learned better in the classroom and I like being able to engage with the teacher. I also missed having classes with my friends. I get more out of it [in-person school] learning wise and it helps me work on my time management more.” 

The transition from virtual to in-person schooling can be difficult to get comfortable with again. Having to create a new routine in an environment that has been foreign for a year is stressful. For Senior Emma Martin, coming back to school has been an exciting time and looks forward to the last year of high school.

“With the classes I was taking in senior year, I decided that I would need to ask more questions in class, so I decided to attend in person senior year. I also did not like the virtual classroom option they were offering,” Martin said. “The transition has been a little difficult because I now have to wake up earlier, but overall it has been an enjoyable experience.”

Learning virtual was a new experience for everyone, students and teachers alike. Changing teaching habits and classroom expectations may have felt unfamiliar for some people. However, revolving around technology allowed for getting to know each other better and determining what people are willing to do. 

Spanish teacher Heather Bradley said, “I felt like I had to adapt to what kids were willing to do.  Getting people to speak up in class was awful, and I get that no one wants to be seen over video. It is stressful, so speaking was a much smaller part of class.”

There are many benefits and negatives to both sides of learning. When it comes to school, everyone has their own struggles to deal with, but finding the balance of what works best and what does not, allows for a more successful classroom experience.

Mosier said, “I felt that it did give me more time to focus by myself and get stuff done. I was also able to have some flexibility of things like when I wanted to get up, eat, etc.” 

Getting back into the world again comes with safety precautions. People have the option to receive the COVID vaccine and masks are recommended when in a public setting. Keeping everyone safe and healthy allows for students to continue learning in-person and extracurricular activities. 

Martin said she stayed safe by wearing a mask even when it was not required and by getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

The help of vaccinations and masks has been a huge part of reopening schools and the country. With the past year behind everyone, students and teachers now have a lot to look forward to. The fun that comes with sports seasons, theatre, and clubs can continue to be a part of students’ lives.

Mosier said, “I am looking forward to my cross country and track seasons the most. My goals for this year [are] I would like to keep my GPA up and I want to perform well both on the course for running and in the classroom.” 

As students look forward to school events, extracurriculars, and classroom learning, it is important that we continue to keep each other safe so we can create a positive learning environment. 

Bradley said, “I am glad to be back and I hope that we can all make the right choices as a community to keep us here.”

The official news source of Floyd Central High School