Ballard hoping to grow under new coach
The Ballard volleyball program will attempt to turn the corner in 2015 under the guidance of a new coach.
Bethany Vier is taking the reins of the Ballard program. She is hoping to get a lot more consistency and competitiveness out of a program that has only won 23 matches over the previous four seasons combined.
“We look forward to competing against some of the toughest teams in the state, making memories together and continuing to learn more about the game of volleyball,” Vier said. “We know that the upcoming season will have its ups and downs, but we look forward to growing in the hard times and enjoying the good times. Our goals are tough, yet realistic. We are focusing on finding victories in the small things. We set specific goals for each specific match and focus on what we can do on our side of the court each time we compete.”
Ballard will have the advantage of having a lot of experience on the court this season.
Back for the Bombers in 2015 are their top six finishers in kills a year ago in seniors Meredith Ossian, Hannah Larson, Gabie Doud and Lydia Shepley and juniors Abby Carlin and Madison Knutson. In 2015 Ossian had 112 kills, Larson totaled 89, Doud finished with 32, Shepley had 14, Carlin recorded 34 and Knutson ended up with 27.
Ossian and Doud will play middle hitter and Larson, Shepley and Knutson will be at outside hitter. Carlin will be the primary setter for Ballard, after handing out 243 assists last year.
Returning the back row for Ballard will be senior Kennedy Newell and sophomore Jenna Moody. Newell - a defensive specialist - had 41 digs last year and Moody - the team’s libero, picked up 21 digs a year ago.
Sophomore Ashton Leonard will be counted on to help out at right-side hitter and middle blocker and senior Miranda Noack will also play right-side hitter. Sophomore Cassidy Shepley could help Carlin at setter and junior Avree Anderson and freshman Karlee Ahrenholtz will provide support in the back row as defensive specialists.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the progress the girls make as the season continues, watching the girls learn to play under pressure and seeing them have fun,” Vier said. “We have an incredible group of girls that love to have fun, so we expect this season to be full of fun as we grow as a unit.”
Vier said she expects the Raccoon River Conference to be tough this season. She expects her team to focus on each match, set and point and not worry about who they are playing.
“Each match is important to us,” Vier said. “The match that sticks out to us is the next one scheduled.”
Ballard began its season Tuesday with a home meet against Pella. The Bombers’ next match is tonight at Iowa Falls-Alden.