What Hillsboro volleyball coach Sandy Arnold sees on the court looks promising. What she hears leaves her wanting more.
With the departure of Alex Ratzlaff and Shannon Heiser, Arnold is in search of leaders. Loud ones.
“They’re pretty quiet,” she said. “There’s some that lead by play, but not as loud as I’d like it. A lot of these girls had secondary roles, and now they’re going to have to step up and take a primary role. I’m still waiting to see which ones are going to accept that challenge.”
Arnold said this year’s team won’t have an overpowering spiker like Ratzlaff. Communication will be essential for an offense that will depend on finesse and smart play.
Returning starters Rebecca Kaufman and Taylor Helmer give Arnold two experienced setters to build around.
“Rebecca is also a hitter and passer,” Arnold said. “She has great hands and great court awareness and sense of the game. That’s exactly what a setter needs quarterbacking the team.”
No less than six players will get shots in hitting roles, a change that could open up scoring opportunities.
“If you go to more than one or two players, that keeps the defense honest,” Arnold said.
Returning starters Abby Sechrist, Callie Linnens, Sara Jost, and Sienna Kaufman will get support from Rebecca Kaufman, and sophomore Trinity Malm figures into the mix as well.
“She’s got great snap on the ball and she has power,” Arnold said.
The Trojans barely missed qualifying for state last year, but Arnold said this team is focused on the present.
“It’s a new look, a new team, a different style of ball,” she said. “This is a smart group of girls and their volleyball knowledge is high. They’re still trying to figure out themselves as a team right now. It’s definitely going to be a team effort from us this year; we’re going to have to have everybody doing their job on the court.”