These girls are back for more, and they’ve set some lofty goals for their second season of Baldwyn Volleyball.
Alex Wilson, an eighth grader returning from last year’s squad who plays in the libero position, is ready to put last year’s experience to use. Emilee Hill, a sophomore outside hitter, learned how to spike, the importance of a team effort and teamwork, and better communication.
“I learned better how to grow as a team, and how to get better with our passes and our sets and to work together,” Wilson said of what she gained most from last year’s inaugural season of the sport in Baldwyn.
Wilson said the team has already set a lofty goal for its sophomore season: getting to nationals. She understands it’s going to take commitment and hard work. In order to get there, the Lady ’Cats will have to compete and win in regionals and district.
Coach Mallory Moore has other goals mind.
“That’s something (getting to nationals) they have set,” Moore said of her team. “With us just starting out, I’d like to be competitive in division, to take it just a step at a time. Last year we came in third in division; this year I’d like to make second in division, just make smaller goals to get to those bigger goals like they’ve set.”
New players to coach and teach
Even though she’s only an eighth-grader, Wilson already sees opportunity to share with the team’s new members what’s she’s learned from having a season under her belt. That’s a responsibility she takes seriously.
“We have show them the right way to play,” Wilson said.
Hill agreed, saying she and her teammates need to project confidence and maturity. “We have to show them to have a good attitude if they mess up so they won’t be as frustrated.”
The season has already begun, and the players are settling in and learning from their opponents as well.
“There are a few things we know now that we have to work on, and we have to get better,” Hill said.
Moore has been watching and learning as well.
“The first year was ‘hectic and chaotic,’” Moore said. “It was a sport I knew nothing about. I feel like I know a good bit more about it now versus something like softball, which I grew up playing. Volleyball is just a new sport for this area in general. (Last year) was a learning year for me in the sport and also as a head coach because I didn’t know there was so much that went into being a head coach. A lot of responsibilities go along with that. But because of last year I feel things are going to go a lot smoother this year.”
She’s got nine or ten players returning from last season’s squad, and nine or ten who are new. Moore does not like to pick out individuals she sees as key to the season, though, choosing instead to focus on team effort.
“Since I grew up playing softball I’ve always been able to think of it being a team sport, being able to pick 10 or 11 (rather than one or two),” she said. “It’s so hard when you have a sport where you can only have so many on the floor. But in my mind I have a set of 10, and I’d say those 10 are definitely going to play a key role. You’ve got people who will be starters, but you also have to have people who will fill positions off the court as well.”
2018 Baldwyn Volleyball Schedule
JV-5:30/V-6:30 unless otherwise noted
** Denotes Division Games
August 16 @ Ripley JV/V
August 21 @ Biggersville JV 5/V 6
August 23 Mantachie JV/V
August 28 Kossuth JV/V
August 30 Ripley JV/V
September 4 @ North Panola JV/ 4:30/V 5:30
September 6 @ Belmont** JV 5/V 6
September 11 Potts Camp** JV 5/V 6
September 14 @ Hickory Flat** JV 5/V 6
September 18 Belmont** JV 5/V 6
September 20 @ Potts Camp** JV/V
September 24 @ Mantachie JV/V
September 27 Hickory Flat** JV 5/V 6
October 2 Pontotoc JV/V
October 4 New Hope JV/V
October 11 @ Amory JV/V
October 16 1st Round Playoffs TBA