Archive for Tuesday, July 23, 2013

BSHS volleyball team eyes continuation of strong 2012 finish

BSHS senior Shelby Mata will be one of the more experienced returning players to the BSHS volleyball team this fall.

BSHS senior Shelby Mata will be one of the more experienced returning players to the BSHS volleyball team this fall.

July 23, 2013

Year two with coach Jan Madlock is a bit more invigorating for the Bonner Springs volleyball team.

After last season’s 16-20 record, which doesn’t indicate the Braves’ late-season hot streak, the girls have new purpose this summer.

“I didn’t have to beg kids to come to the gym this summer,” Madlock said. “They were beating on the door in huge numbers, so I think we’re really excited about getting the season going.”

It hasn’t been a busy summer in terms of matches, but Madlock said they don’t need many to have an effective routine. Volleyball is not a sport like basketball where the summer is laden with tournaments, so Bonner Springs has spent its Monday’s practicing against Tonganoxie.

The casual setting allows for a dissect-and-direct coaching method that real-time games don’t allow.

“We could stop in the middle of play and make adjustments,” Madlock said. “It actually was better than practice because we could have a real team across the net from us.”

Madlock vacationed with family during the weekend of this month’s Volleyfest in Shawnee, traditionally one of the bigger summer tournaments in the area. They did, however, spend the past weekend at Pittsburg State University for a team camp.

It was the first extensive tournament experience of the offseason for the Braves and the team saw significant strides, though finishing second in the bronze division didn’t speak to the improvements. Sophomore Julianne Jackson, who has had steady growth all summer, made the tournament’s all-star team.

The biggest difference in Madlock’s second year other than more cohesion is expectation. Once the Braves realized what they were capable of late last season, they went on a 10-2 run, losing to eventual sub-state champion Basehor-Linwood in the second round of the postseason. Several girls belong to outside clubs and have come back much improved, aiming for another post-season run.

Tryouts are not until mid-August, so besides Jackson and seniors Mariah Seifert and Shelby Mata, it’s a little cloudy on the rotation. But it’s better than last year when the Braves had no idea what to expect as far as wins or losses were concerned.

The girls have spent most of the week in the gym and weight room, and right now, Madlock finds it sufficient for expanding upon last year’s playbook and prepping for fall.

“We feel like that training we’re getting in the gym is just as beneficial against playing against other teams,” Madlock said.

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