By Ahna Cobb
The voices of cheering teammates fill the gym with excited players ready to take on their competition. The ball crosses the plane of the net and senior Kamryn Plaiss positions herself to set it up perfectly to her teammate. In one swift motion the ball is hit into the air and senior Riley Woodruff puts it away, scoring the first point of the season for the volleyball team.
“My goals for this season are to grow as a team and constantly get better everyday and work hard all the time. I’m looking to get as many wins as possible but as long as we are growing we are taking a step in the right direction,” said Plaiss.
The journey to a state championship is certainly a long one. The girls want to focus this season on winning the Hoosier Hills Conference tournament and the sectional title so they can make their way to state.
Head volleyball coach Bart Powell said the first two months of the season are crucial because that is when he sees how good the team can become. He gets to mold, shape, and facilitate knowledge to players.
“Last year we had a much taller team and less ball control, and now we’ve got a shorter team with a lot better ball control, so it’s going to be a completely different team from what I’ve ever had at Floyd Central because I’ve always had tall kids,” said Powell.
The change from last year to this year has altered the dynamic on the team and the seniors have already stepped into their role as leaders.
“Since I’m injured right now it’s important for me to be loud and supportive. When I come back, I am going to give the team all that I have,” said senior Cassie Thomerson.
Each senior has spent three years in the program and they understand what is expected of them from their coach. They keep the underclassmen in line and lead by example.
“The best part of the season is secret buddies. We all get each other gifts on game days and we get to eat our snacks throughout the day,” said Woodruff.
Woodruff also said she also loves when they travel to Carmel and stay the night because everyone stays in rooms together and there are many opportunities to bond. The more comfortable and close the girls are, the stronger the team will be for the state tournament.
“My favorite part is when it’s sectional time because we play a lot of games and it’s a positive atmosphere,” said senior Sara Sans.
Plaiss agreed and said she likes the end of the season because it is when they get closer to what they have worked for all season long in sectionals. There is nothing more rewarding than hard work paying off to finish strong.
“I expect us to be that team that won’t go away and always works hard. The end of the season is when we need to be at our peak and really winning. I love winning, that’s always really nice. I also like spending time with the girls and going to dinners— getting to know them off of the court,” said assistant volleyball coach Melanie Hussung.
The volleyball team hustles at every practice to be the best they can be. The teammates are dependent upon one another to make each other better than they were the day before. When they are in the gym day in and day out, it is all leading up to the end of the season so that they come out on top.
“I’m really excited to see how we grow and develop,” said Sans. I want to start off with a lot of passion and carry it throughout the season.”