The 2014 Warrensburg High School Varsity Volleyball Team includes (front, left to right): Cierra Tyrell, Angie Miller, Kaelyn Bentham, Hailey Sweet, (rear): Jayden Cain, Kaylene Norton, Ashley Benz, Leah Terrell, Kelly Angell and Sydney Russell. (Not pictured): Alex Werner. Courtesy photo
With a solid group of experienced players returning for 2014, the Warrensburg High School Volleyball Team is ready to tackle a new season at a higher competitive level than in most recent years, coach Robin Winslow Mahler said this week.
Veteran players with considerable experience include Seniors Kaylene Norton and Cierra Tyrell, co-captains of the team, who are helping to conduct practices and drills.
Mahler said she has high hopes for the two, along with fellow Senior Kaelyn Bentham.
“I’m looking to these three for leadership this year,” she said.
This trio is joined by experienced sophomores Leah Terrell, Jayden Cain, Angie Miller and Sydney Russell, all of whom played a considerable number of minutes last year as Freshmen.
Norton and Terrell, two middle hitters, were key players in the 2013 lineup, and they will undoubtedly be just as important this year, Mahler said.
“Kaylene and Leah were my ‘go-to’ personnel last year — they were strong hitters, either in the front row or the back row. I have high expectations for them,” she said.
Mahler observed that Terrell has a jump-serve that may put opponents off rhythm. Terrell, along with Angie Miller and Jayden Cain, have been playing club volleyball year-round, which is likely to boost Warrensburg’s prospects.
Makayla Baker, Warrensburg’s talented setter last year, was lost to graduation as was Josana Stone, an outside hitter. Mahler said that Miller and Cain will be taking over the setting duties this year in lieu of Baker. Both of the players are powerful servers as well, Mahler said.
Four newcomers to the team — Sophomore Ashley Benz and 9th graders Kelly Angell, Hailey Sweet, and Alex Werner — are enthusiastic in practice and dedicated to developing their skills, the coach said, adding that she is expecting they all will contribute as they develop their game play.
Renowned for her positive attitude, Mahler noted that last year, several opposing coaches observed that the Warrensburg volleyball players had made remarkable strides in their technique and team play through the season.
“I’m expecting their skill development to continue — while they have fun in competition,” Mahler said, noting the 2014 players are demonstrating dedication to their sport as well as a spirit of teamwork.