by Kathryn Van Tuyl
With the season over, the volleyball team can look back at many things, both good and bad. With many strengths as a team, and also a few downfalls, the girls claimed a regular-season record of 23-12, defeating North Mahaska and Central Decatur to bring them to sub-state. Playing against St. Alberts Council Bluffs, the Eagles lost to the Saintes 1-3.
“We had some excellent hitters, our setting was solid, and our defense was good,” said head coach John Evenhouse. “Players worked hard and enjoyed being together and seemed all in on trying to be a state-bound team.”
But among the good, there were struggles with maintaining fundamental skills, serving, and overall, playing as a team, something the girls worked immensely on throughout the fall.
“Like coach said, there were seven persons on the court. The six individuals, and the seventh being the team as one body,” stated junior Laura De Zwarte. “We certainly didn’t play a perfect game. We made mistakes, and there were times when we played as six individuals. But overall, we learned that you can’t play volleyball unless the whole team is playing together.”
However, throughout all the ups and downs of the season, the one thing that proved solid was the leadership that bound the team. With a total of seven seniors, the team grew in experience from last year, also bringing up two returning underclassmen. The leadership was not solely on the court, though.
“Although we had three captains, Hanna (Vos), Cailey (Terpstra), and Mady (Zula), I see all the seniors as leaders,” said junior Bekah Horstman. “They’ve all been able to give great advice to us as players and as friends, and I’m thankful to have each of them on the team!”
The season proved to be a growing experience for all involved, including Evenhouse, who came out of retirement to coach this year’s team. With the season over until next year, the team has much to look back on.
“I think that the experience we had in playing tougher teams really helped us improve. We had to find more shots and hit harder to score against the difficult team,” said senior Kirsten Vander Hart. “I feel like we improved in our learning of how to read the game better. In every dig, set, and hit we improved our game and finding the little things that we need to fix.”