Kimball Volleyball preps for a winning season


August 24, 2017

Tonia Copeland/Western Nebraska Observer

Tonia Copeland/Western NEbraska Observer The Lady Longhorns are preparing for a winning season with coach Jeri Ferguson at the helm. Pictured here, from front left are seniors Justine Heeg and Hannah Biesecker (lying in front). Seated from left are Hailey Paxton, Desyree Nelson, Kate Reader, Sheridan Magninie, Madison Wynne, Kiersten Anderson and Lacey Klinkhammer. Third row, from left, are Reese Spradling, Ashlynn Guzman, Carli Wurdeman, Sierra Rutledge, Emma Martin and Bailie Brower. Standing, from left, are Katie Heeg, Megan Spicer, Jaydin Paxton, Nicole Delaplane, Jenna Greenwood, Sydney Biesecker and Brooklin Golding.

Though the Lady Horns made it to sub-district finals in the previous season, returning head coach Jeri Ferguson is pushing the team to play more consistently this season and take the team to the top.

Joined by assistant coach Erin Monheiser, Ferguson has a group of energetic, talented athletes that are ready to compete.

"I'm really happy that Erin is back with us again, she is a big piece of the puzzle," Ferguson said.

After two weeks of practice, Ferguson said she still is not ready to say who will be starting.

"It is that close of a competition," she said. "That's also what makes a good team, if you push each other."

Teamwork is one of Ferguson's focuses, and her expectation, this year. This group of girls is doing a good job of working towards the team and not worrying about "me," according to Ferguson, who added that one of the bigger challenges will be ensuring each player buys into their individual role within the team.

"We are working hard at just being a team," she said.

Ferguson has a lot of talent on the bench. She said, "If I can get them to buy in that it is okay if they aren't the ones to start but to be ready if I need them. So far, that seems to be going well."

Additionally, the Lady Horns are working hard to play consistently. Last season was tough, according to Ferguson, with the team dominating in one game and bringing home a loss the next.

"This group's commitment to team and to work, has just been amazing," she said. "We are looking pretty solid all the way around, we just have to continue to get better."

Returning starters Hannah Biesecker and Justine Heeg will lead the team after a loss of six players to graduation. They will be joined by fellow letter earners Madison Wynne, Sheridan Magninie and Kate Reader.

"Hannah (Biesecker) is going to be a very dominating hitter, Justine (Heeg) has experience as a good setter. Maddie (Wynne) and Carli (Wurdeman) are good setters," she said. "Our passing needs to get better, serving and passing, that is where we are focusing."

Ferguson added that her hitters, while strong, are learning a variety of ways to hit and her blockers are looking strong for the upcoming season.

"I've got a lot of upcoming juniors and sophomores and the freshmen are looking pretty good also," she said. "My younger girls are playing well, which is what I was expecting."

Offensively, Ferguson is confident that the Lady Horns will be strong, with some hard-working hitters.

"We've got girls that can swing at the ball," she said. "We need to develop some more right side hitters."

The team also looks good defensively, with strong blockers, according to Ferguson who added that they are working on staying out of the net to reduce the number of turnovers.

The team had a camp at home, that Ferguson credits with growth she has seen so early in the season.

The Lady Horns open their season with a home game against Bridgeport on Thursday, Aug. 31.


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