Friday, November 28, 2014

OHS VB squad attempts to raise level of play

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 6/23/2014

The five senior starters returning for the Ottawa High School volleyball team wants to make the 2014 season special.

To have a chance at achieving big goals, the players understand what is in front them.

The five senior starters returning for the Ottawa High School volleyball team wants to make the 2014 season special.

To have a chance at achieving big goals, the players understand what is in front them.

“To be able to compete in this league, we have to work harder than anybody else,” second-year OHS coach Laura Jeannin said. “We want to reach our potential. We can’t control what other teams do, but we can control what we bring to the court.”

The Cyclones are off to a good start with a gym full of players on Monday, the first day of team camp.

“It is great to see the turn out for camp, weights and conditioning,” Jeannin said. “We have a lot of girls playing in summer league. We have a good core of girls returning from last year.

“Realizing for us to compete, we have to play hard and work hard. One of our goals this year is understanding our potential and expect that from ourselves.”

Senior all-league and all-area performer Brette Moore sees a lot of growth in the squad.

“Last year was a building up year,” Moore said. “This year — we know each other and how we play — we will be a lot more successful. Last year was the first time since middle school we got to play together again.

“We are not as aggressive. We were really timid. We have girls who can hit it in different places. We have girls who can tip it and pass it.”

The sheer number of players taking it to heart gives Jeannin a good feeling.

“We had a really good turnout for the summer,” she said. “The underclassmen have been coming and working hard. We want to keep the hands on a volleyball. It is good for a program to build from that.”

Last season, there was a lot of uncertainty with Jeannin taking over the reigns. This summer the seeds are beginning to bloom.

“They understand what I expect from them,” Jeannin said. “They are a lot more disciplined. It takes time. We are still working on it. I want them to love playing.”

Moore said the players’ attitude and willingness to work will make a big difference.

“We listen and do what coach says,” Moore said. “We are quick learners. We are getting back to the fundamentals. Doing stuff how it is supposed to be done.”

Moore credits the coaches for pushing the players to participate all summer.

“They are getting us into the gym even before camp week working with us the entire summer,” she said. “Getting ourselves involved and wanting to be here is what is going to make us better. We have to get ready for the season. We have a really tough league. All the girls are good at what they do.”

Jeannin witnessed a big growth curve in the seniors.

“This group of seniors, I have coached from freshmen to seniors,” Jeannin said. “I have seen a huge growth in them emotionally and how they react to things. I hope this year they take more of a hop and take charge. They have a lot more ownership in the team. A lot more responsibility. It is not my team it is their team. We have to work together. We have to pull the best parts of everyone together to get what we want.”

Jeannin stresses fundamentals and wants all the players to continue to work on the building blocks — serving and passing.

“I want to work on technique,” Jeannin said. “The girls need repetition. This week is important for repetition, getting their hands on a ball, playing together as a team and by the end of the week we can pull it all together and work on some offense.

“I push the importance of serving and passing. It is the foundation of volleyball. They all want to hit the ball. The only way is to serve and pass well.

“You can’t put yourself out of a game by not serving well. We had games last year where we could not get the ball on the court.”

Moore said, “If you can’t serve then you are not going to win games. Coach really focuses on is serving and passing.”

comments powered by Disqus