by Payton Babcock and Kiley Studer, Dawg Pack staff reporters
Before the volleyball season began, the Dawg Pack wanted to find out what some of the players were thinking about the season.
• Taylor Robison is most looking forward to winning. She likes the teamwork, but she isn’t a big fan of running in practice.
• Makenzie Melton is looking forward to traveling to games and spending time with her friends this season. Her favorite part of playing is serving.
• Riley Jeffries was inspired to play because her sister did. The thing she enjoys the most is hitting.
• Keili Tough’s favorite sport is volleyball. The toughest part of the sport for Keili is all the conditioning, but she loves working with her teammates.
• Kayla Collins is looking forward to two things this season: hitting and scaring the seventh graders with her serves.
•Shelby North would like the team to have an undefeated season. The reason she likes volleyball is because it is active and fun. “It is my life.” she exclaimed. She thinks the hardest part of volleyball is diving for the ball.
Overall, the girls agreed that they are really enjoying their new volleyball coach, Mrs. Ashley Rogers. They also agree that she is working them hard.
“She pushes us to do our best,” said Kayla Collins. Taylor Robison added, “She also explains things really well to us.”
Coach Beau Swopes also has high hopes for the season. “My goal is that the girls play well and get better as the season progresses.” He believes the strength for the eighth grade is the returning experience and the weakness for the seventh grade is that not very many girls came out for the team.
The first game of the season was a home game against Fort Scott. Makenzie Melton helped the seventh grade team start strong when she got the first serving point of the night. She said, “It felt good and exciting, and it helped get the nerves out.” The team had seven good volleys during the set but lost 9-25.
In the second set of the seventh grade game, the team once again played well. Unfortunately, they struggled with serving and fell short 15-25.
The eighth graders took to the court next. Amy Ford got the first point of the season for the eighth grade team with a serving ace. “I felt good about it, and it made me believe we had a chance of winning,” she commented.
During the first set of the game, the Lady Bulldogs had several long volleys – the longest an impressive exchange of six volleys over the net. Tiffany Nikodim had a good save during the set. “It kind of hurt because I got a floor burn.” Tiffany exclaimed. Kalya Collins got an ace that tied the set at 23, but unfortunately, Fort Scott went on to win that first set, 23-25.
The eighth grade team struggled with serving in set two, missing six serves. Highlights of the set included Kiley Studer getting a kill and an ace back to back. She said, “It felt really cool to get a kill. I haven’t really ever gotten one before, and it felt awesome to feel how high I got when I hit the ball. I was glad my ace earned my team a point.” In the end, EHS fell short in set two losing 11-25.
Because Fort Scott had so many volleyball players, the eighth grade was also able to play a B game. That was good news for the Lady Bulldogs as it gave more players some playing time to gain experience. El Do lost in two sets, 17-25, 16-25.
The volleyball teams traveled to Bolivar on Sept. 16 for their second game of the season. They challenged a much bigger Liberator team. The eighth grade lost 25-13, 25-8, and the seventh grade team lost 25-15, 25-12.
Seventh grader Courtney Templin said, “Our team did pretty good at hitting.”
Eighth grader Bailey Tyler remarked, “We tried our best.”
Coach Rogers commented, “Overall, we did a good job, and we are improving. Our communication on the court was better.”
ECS JV AND JH TEAMS COMPETE IN FT. SCOTT – Pictured; Kraysen Leonard, #31, Jordanne Steuck, left, Madison Collins, center, and Lanie Collins, #10.
El Dorado Christians’ JV and Junior High Volleyball teams traveled to Christian Learning Center in Ft. Scott, KS, on Monday night, Sept. 16. The JH team fell short losing their set, but the JV walked away with a win in two. Coaches Tessie Watkins (JH) and Kelly Bryson(JV) were extremely proud of the girls. Top servers were sixth grader, Lanie Collins (JH) and freshman, Peyton Newman (JV).