DHS volleyball players compete at nationals


Wildcat Photo

Sophomores Maya Bascom and Kaitlyn Bell pose with their team after winning third place at the National competition.

Emma Bascom, Editor-in-Chief

This year’s Girls’ Junior National Championship club volleyball tournament was held in Indianapolis, Indiana from June 24 to July 3. Several volleyball players—sophomores Ally Barnhart, Maya Bascom, Kaitlyn Bell, Cassidy Crist, Haley Cuba and Loren Hinkle along with freshmen Brianna Hinkle and Taylor Ellis—all had the opportunity to travel and compete at the highest level offered to them.

Bascom and Bell played for Performance Volleyball Academy’s (PVA) 15 Elite team and finished third overall in the USA Gold category, while Barnhart played for PVA’s 16 Elite team, Crist and Cuba played for Dynasty Blue and Hinkle played for Dynasty Black.

For Bascom, one of the highlights was simply being able to play at the tournament.

“Nationals was so packed and loud. The energy there was amazing. We worked so hard to get there. We practiced so much and had workouts before every practice and we trained very hard. It was great to see all of that pay off,” Bascom said.

According to Barnhart, nationals, while fun, was very stressful because of the presence of college coaches looking for new athletes.

“Nationals was very important to me because it’s another chance for you to play in front of coaches for colleges you want to go to,” Barnhart said. “It’s also a fun time for you to play with your team one last time before the season is over.”

All of the athletes agreed that, while they wanted to win, it does not matter if they did not place where they wanted to.

“We didn’t finish how we wanted at nationals, but it was a great learning experience for my whole team,” Hinkle said. “I learned that a good start usually will help you gain momentum for the rest of the tournament and season.”

Coincidentally, all of the sophomores present at nationals will play Varsity for De Soto High School’s volleyball team.

Bascom believes that the competition at nationals helped to better prepare her and her teammates for their high school season.

“Nationals really prepares you for competition against upperclassmen and it helps you learn how to be a team leader,” Bascom said. “I learned how to push through any game mentally and physically, and also how to be able to play your hardest through the whole game and lift your teammates up. It was a really valuable experience.”

Hinkle agrees, saying that she is “super excited to see how school plays out, and to see how everyone has improved over the club season. It’s going to be great putting it all together.”

While the players gained a lot of life lessons and volleyball experience at nationals, they are also happy to be back representing DHS.

“I’m so excited to be back on the court playing with my friends again, and I’m very excited to have Hothan back as a coach and I think that she will lead our team very well and put us all in the best position to win,” Bascom said.