Bonner Springs expecting more improvement in 2006
In most sports, a coach's third year with a program tends to be a magical year.
That, according to trends, is the year coaches finally feel comfortable in their program. That's the year the coaches know all of the athletes. That's the year things start to click.
Bonner Springs High School volleyball coach Jo Wiseman is hoping for exactly that, as she prepares to get the ball rolling on her third season with the Bravettes.
"Everything is a little easier now," said Wiseman, who was married last November prompting her to change her last name from Morrison. "I'm definitely more comfortable in the position now and I'm definitely more comfortable with the girls."
While those things might not lead directly to more victories, Wiseman is hoping they will lead her team down the right path.
For starters, the newfound comfort-level and respect that's present at practice means the team has more time to work on volleyball skills and less time to worry about messing around.
"Them just knowing our coaching style and what we expect is a big help," Wiseman said. "They know from the beginning what needs to be done, and that lets us focus more on fundamentals. They get to have their hands on the ball more."
For a team with five seniors and four varsity returners, that could mean immediate results.
The Bravettes are covered in most aspects of the game. Seniors Christina Delladio, Ally Venerable and Janee Ingenthron provide a strong and intimidating presence at the net. Although each member of the trio is capable of putting a ball down on offense, it's their defense -- particularly their blocking -- that is their biggest asset.
In terms of defense, junior Janelle Lira rounds out the list of returning varsity players and she's expected to be a solid defensive specialist for the Bravettes this year.
The setting responsibilities will rest largely on the finger tips of juniors Holly Luke and Lindsey Johnson. Both have experience setting at the junior varsity level.
Newcomer Jenny Wecker, also a junior, is a possible third option. She's likely to fill the role of utility player for this team, as she's skilled enough to fill just about any position. She's joined by fellow newcomer Ashley Sims, a senior who also will play in several spots.
Senior Cari Frazey and junior Wendy DeLeon round out the varsity roster and both are expected to contribute heavily to the team's success.
With the pieces in place for a successful season, Wiseman said her third squad will be as successful as its passing allows it to be.
"Defense and passing will be where we need to improve the most," Wiseman said. "But I really like the attitude and the heart and the drive of this team. They all go all out all the time to not let that ball hit the ground. And that's the intensity we'll look for from them in every practice and every game."