Volleyball players earn all-league honors

Emma Bascom, Editor-in-Chief

Four De Soto High School volleyball players—sophomores Maya Bascom, Kaitlyn Bell and Haley Cuba and senior Jackie Kennard—have been awarded with all-league honors for their 2016 season. Bascom and Bell made first team all-league, while Cuba and Kennard were awarded second team. This was all of the girls’ first time being awarded all-league, though Bell was an honorable mention last year as a freshman.
Volleyball head coach Lindsay Hothan called all four players to tell them personally before anything was posted on social media or they heard from another unreliable source.
“Coach Hothan called me the night right after they had the league meeting,” Bascom said. “That was really nice of her, and I was really happy to hear it from my coach first.”
The girls all agreed that there were many factors contributing to their success, but that the most prominent was Hothan.
“I would have to thank coach Hothan for helping me get better, my teammates for cheering me on even if I made a mistake, my parents for being there from me, and my club coach for also helping me improve my skills in lessons,” Cuba said.
Kennard agreed, saying that “I really want to thank Coach Hothan for always pushing me and having high expectations. I also give credit to my club coaches for being the people to make me fall in love with the game in the first place. And then, of course, you can’t get anywhere without dedication in workouts and practice or supportive teammates.”
For Bell, the award was important because it gave her confidence in her abilities.
“It feels awesome getting it as a sophomore and knowing that I am young getting it. This will help me by getting even better and making progress, and will give me confidence in how I play on the court, and know to stay confident but not arrogant,” Bell said.
Bascom agreed, saying that “getting first team will give me a lot of confidence to go into the next few volleyball seasons, and also it will give me a bigger goal to push towards because I know that I have now set the bar high, and will have to keep training to push the bar even higher.”
For Kennard, getting an all-league honor was extremely special because it was her final season on DHS’ team.
“It’s an honor to be recognized because there are so many girls in the league who I think are worthy of it, and it feels good to be recognized after four years of hard work,” Kennard said. “It’s great to know that I gave everything that I could in my last season and that it was recognized that I left everything out there on the court. The whole thing is kind of bittersweet.”
For the three younger players, the award is pushing them to have an even more impressive junior season and to finally make it to the State tournament, a feat the team has missed out on for the last two years, falling in the Sub-State Championship game both times.
“I am very excited for next year, knowing that we have all-league players, and I’m excited to see what we do,” Bascom said. “But, I will also not let this get to my head, because there are good teams out there and I need to be ready for that. This also gives me something to work towards for next year.”