The Hillsboro junior varsity volleyball team hosted Northwest on Tuesday, opening its 2019 season. Despite playing two very close sets, the Hawks dropped the match 24-26, 19-25.
“I am really happy with this being our first game,” said JV coach Ally Erickson. “I think the more we play together, the more we are going to become a strong and very competitive team. We play Northwest again Saturday at the R-7 Tournament, so we will see if we can get some revenge then.”
In Tuesday’s match, Erickson noted that Reese Buettner played an aggressive front row. Sidney Buettner and Sofia Fischer were dishing out passes quite well. Coach Erickson praised Fischer for her setting in her first high school game ever. “I was extremely nervous, but once I attempted to calm my emotions, I feel I played okay,” Fisher confessed. “It definitely wasn’t my best game, but I’m looking forward to improving throughout the year. It really helps build up your confidence when your teammates are supportive and positive.”
The head coach also stated that Gabby Thornhill “has a good hard serve” once she gains command of it. Thornhill is optimistic about the rest of the season. “I think we played well for our first game. I think we had good hits, and I think we should work on passing and getting the ball to the setter.”
The JV team saw five players move on to varsity from last year’s team, and are looking to returnees Maya Wright, Chastity Lucas, and Thornhill to lead the troops this season. “Maya will be playing both varsity and JV this year,” Erickson explained. “She is a leader on our court, and we are going to soak up all the time we get with her. I fortunately have Chastity, who is a returning player, who is really stepping up as a leader as well.”
Coach Erickson thinks this team is a little ahead of last year’s group. “This year I really think that we have a better starting point than last year. I have five freshmen who are hard workers and ready to absorb all the information I am giving them. We are already bonding, and the team flow is more natural than last year’s.”
This year’s team is very versatile, with several athletes who can fit in at many positions. But as with any JV squad, there’s a lot to learn. “I am training two new setters, Fischer and Sidney Buettner,” Erickson noted. “We started this process over the summer, and they have already grown so much. I am excited to see them start taking control on the court.”
Erickson expects two of her five freshman to dress for varsity as well. Fischer and Phoenix Dean should see some time with the big club. Morgan Rauls is also a freshman new to the JV team. Along with the three sophomores mentioned above, Hannah Sparks is the fourth sophomore on the team.
As Erickson stated earlier, the Hawks will participate in the Jefferson R-7 JV Tournament. Hillsboro is in Pool A and will begin the tournament with a match against Jefferson at 8:15 a.m. For a complete look at the tournament and other information, follow this link: JV tournament bracket