As with the start of any new school year, Woodward-Granger welcomes many new faces to its athletic department. One of these new additions includes volleyball head coach Bailey Hunt.
Coach Hunt says she saw the hard work and dedication among her team at the beginning of summer practice.
“A few girls have had to switch positions and I’m really proud of them for stepping up and kind of taking that challenge,” Coach Hunt said. “I know they (the Hawks) lost some really good players last year so they know they have some big shoes to fill.”
The Hawks proved to be very capable of filling those shoes at their first match of the season. Sweeping West Central Valley in three sets, several younger members meshed well with the other netters.
Senior Anna Tague is one to watch this season as she brings her talent, leadership, and experience to the team. Tague showed her ability in all three of those categories at the season opener by taking every opportunity to find open courts, swinging hard, and adjusting to the sets that proved to be a bit too far off.
Junior Emma Drake is another athlete who used her new status as an upperclassman to her advantage when it comes to skill and experience. Coach Hunt says she has noticed Drake to be the player who always hustles after the ball.
Coach Hunt also emphasized senior Ashlyn Soelberg’s ability in the back row to read the court and the players during any match.
Briley Bermel, Alissa Smeltzer, Mya Kasiar, Megan Burkhart, and Lisa Pitman are all seniors who make up a fair majority of this year’s team and experience.
Although talent and experience is important to the Hawks this season, the team has put plenty of emphasis on the attitude and mindset it takes to be a truly good team.
“So far I’ve seen a good sense of teamwork as far as even the girls who are sitting (on the bench) are cheering each other on and trying to help each other out,” Coach Hunt said. “That’s really important to me.”
One aspect Coach Hunt is somewhat concerned about is the lack of the assistant coaches. Playing all of the roles that an assistant typically does can be difficult, but Coach Hunt has taken the challenge and made the best of it by working out the defensive side of her team’s game by focusing on each player individually.
Whether the Hawks continue to win most of their matches or not, one of Coach Hunt’s main goals is to familiarize herself with the teams in this conference.
“I haven’t played a lot of teams in this conference,” said Coach Hunt. “So I’m still trying to figure out what to expect from them (the other teams) and being prepared to play, but our biggest goal is to have a winning season.”
Home - 08/28/2018 - VS. Des Moines Christian
Neutral - 08/30/2018 - VS. Nevada, Gilbert, and Perry
Away - 09/04/2018 - VS. ACGC, and Audubon
Home - 09/11/2018 - VS. Interstate 35, Truro
Home - 09/13/2018 - VS. Pleasantville
Away - 09/18/2018 - VS. Earlham
Home - 09/25/2018 - VS. Ogden
Away - 10/02/2018 - VS. Madrid
Away - 10/09/2018 - VS. Panorama
Away - 10/11/2018 - VS. Van Meter
Home - 10/13/2018 - VS. Grand View Christian, and South Hardin