Volleyball closing out regular season, ready for postseason


Wildcat Photo

The varsity volleyball team celebrates after gaining a point against Louisburg on Sept. 3.

Emma Klingler, Arts/Entertainment Editor

The De Soto High School volleyball team has had an exciting season thus far. As the season begins to come to a close, the team reflects on their challenges and successes.

Among all the various challenges this school year has brought, the volleyball team has faced a unique one. The team is challenged to play differently than normal in order to meet their needs.

“We don’t have a ton of height,“ senior libero Gracey Janes said. “So we make do with what we have, but there are a lot of girls who don’t play their typical position.” 

Senior outside hitter and co-captain Lillie Sullivan shares the same thoughts on the team’s struggle.

“The only advantage the other teams have had on us that we’ve played this season has been their height,” Sullivan said. “Volleyball is a sport where height really matters.”

While the team has faced this challenge and many others, they have done an excellent job of pushing themselves out of their comfort zones to improve.

“I think we’re doing a really good job of trying [to overcome this challenge]. It’s just hard to execute it,“ Janes said.

A common occurrence in the 2021 sports season is the COVID-19 restrictions, or lack thereof. For the DHS volleyball team, they had less restrictions this year in contrast to last year, but have since had to alter those restrictions.

“We get to play a lot more, and we don’t have to wear a mask while we’re playing,“ Janes said.

The varsity volleyball team huddles before their match against Louisburg on Sept. 3. (Wildcat Photo)

Last season, the volleyball team was required to wear masks during practices and while they were on the sideline.

“This season, we were allowed to practice without them,” Sullivan said. “Then, after that, we had a COVID outbreak, so we went back to wearing masks [while practicing]. It’s pretty much the exact same as last year now.”

Compared to past seasons, this year’s volleyball team is doing particularly well in terms of energy and focus. 

“This team is a lot more technical in practices,” Sullivan said. “We focus on more skills and specifics, like form. We also have really good energy this year and team chemistry. Everyone is so supportive of each other and cheers each other on.”

The team will be heading to Sub-State on Oct. 23, and are unsure how successful they will be as they do not know who they will be playing yet. 

Sullivan is confident in her team’s ability to work hard no matter who they end up playing at Sub-State.

“This season we’ve played a lot of really tough teams,” Sullivan said. “With that being said, our record is not where we want it to be right now, so Sub-State is going to be really hard. Even so, we’re going to do whatever we can to win. We’ve been training all season to try to get to State. Despite who we’re going to play, we’re going to try our hardest.”

There are six seniors who will be leaving before next season. One of their hopes is to leave behind a solid leadership team.

“I want them to find leadership,” Janes said. “I think someone needs to step up and own that role once my class is gone.”

They also hope to leave behind a supportive environment so that the team continues to have great chemistry.

“I hope that next year, even without us seniors, that they can still continue to have the same passion for the game and the same energy towards each other,” Sullivan said. “It honestly makes a difference in a game whether or not you have energy.”

Although the DHS volleyball team’s season is soon coming to a close, the teammates are able to reflect on their season and look forward to Sub-State and what next year will bring.