Second Season: Volleyball team aiming for chance at Ankeny

Jordan Burtch/Staff Writer

The volleyball team is beginning its march into the postseason this year with the first two rounds being at Cedar Falls and beginning on Oct. 30, with state qualifiers advancing in November. Only eight 4A teams make it to State.

“It’s been a pretty good year. We have a pretty good team, and we are excited for postseason play. They’ve all stood out (this year), and we’ll obviously rely on our seniors Sydney Howard and Kaitlyn Gillett,” coach Matt Flaherty said.

Gillet agreed with Flaherty.

I think it (this year) went really well. We had a lot of fun, and we won a lot of games against some hard teams. Everybody needs to improve because we have really hard teams we have to play, so in order to win, everyone’s going to have to play their best,” senior Kaitlyn Gillett said.

Howard focused on what it will take to make a run in the state volleyball playoffs.

I feel this year’s team has really come a long way and is starting to play together as a team. We just need to minimize on mental errors. I feel everybody has done their part to make this team good. Not just one person. Kaz Brown is a player who has made major improvements throughout the season,” senior Sydney Howard said.
ophomore Miranda Dusenberry focused on the mental mindset she thinks it will take to be successful in the postseason.

I think we’re doing good, and if we stay positive we have a good chance at going to State. I feel pretty confident about going into the postseason. We work really well as a team and we have a lot of potential to do well,” Dusenberry said.
he also pointed out some leaders to look for on the Tiger team. “I think Sydney Howard, Crystal Graves and Kaz Brown because they’re really aggressive, and with them we have a powerful blocking team. Also Jamie Farley because she’ll be great with digs to our setters,” Dusenberry said.

Howard said she didn’t think the team should have any trouble with overcoming nerves or maintaining focus.

(I) just hope we come out ready to play because every team is going to be a tough battle from here on out.”

Gillett had a different view, admitting there might be some early jitters to overcome. “Yeah, there always is. Since it’s my senior year and it might be my last volleyball games and there’s always nerves to do well,” Gillett said.

Sometimes we don’t start off very strong, and we have to remember to fight the whole game and keep the fire going throughout the game,” Dusenberry said.
laherty predicted the likely foe he thinks the Tigers will face in the postseason.

We have to go through Ankeny; they’re No. 1, and they beat us this year.”

Gillet agreed. “We’ll most likely play Marshalltown first, and if we win we have to play Ankeny who has only lost twice. I expect to get through to the third round and expect to play Ankeny, and that’ll be a good match if we play our games,” Gillett said.

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