With HR varsity volleyball, it’s practice that makes perfect



HR varsity volleyball warms up before their game against ThunderRidge. The Falcons soared above the Grizzles and won 3-1. Photo by Kara Lyons

  Fans can come to see the players in action and in pressure situations, but they don’t see how the players practice to prepare for these situations. The fans don’t get to see the extra hours, extra reps, and extra criticism from coaches. According to MaxPreps, the HR girls varsity volleyball team’s record is currently 8-8, and they work hard to get to where they are and where they want to be.

  It’s important that the team is prepared for the upcoming game and know what to expect from their opponent. Libby Borgerding, senior captain and libero, said that before home games they “have a team dinner, draw on our volleyballs, and get mentally ready for our game.” 

  The team gets an early start with the team dinner three hours before game time. Bella Romano, sophomore and middle, said, “On game days we meet in the cafeteria at 4:00 to start getting ready. Around 5:15 we go warm up in the weight room.”

  They take warmups seriously because they want to be prepared for the game. Borgerding said, “This is where we really start dialing in and warm up to compete rather than just warm up to warm up.” After dinner and lifting, they move to the room by the trainer’s to watch the scouting report of their opponent. 

  While looking at the scouting report, Lou Krauss, head volleyball coach, said, “We talk about who their point scorers are, where they hit the ball, who the weak passers are.” Once they figure out the tendencies of the opposing team, they think of strategies to expose and capitalize on them. Krauss said, “We talk about our serving strategy, our blocking and how we are going to block them, what kind of defense we’re going to play.” 

  So far this strategy has been working. As of Oct. 11, HR has had an average of 16.1 digs per set, 12.9 kills per game, and 92 blocks, according to MaxPreps.

  Staying focused throughout the season is another key concept. To keep the volleyball team from losing focus, Borgerding said they have goals as well as mottos, such as “practice with purpose and with intensity.”

  Along with mottos the team has coaches that really encourage the girls to get better in practice. Romano said, “Practice is very intense. Coach is always pushing us to get better and try our hardest.”

  Another way to keep the team focused is setting standards for the different positions. Borgerding said, “A standard for defense would be you always have to get a ball up, so you’re making a move, so eventually you get those digs in games, which helps keep the energy high.”

  Although practicing on what a player needs to do individually plays a part in a victory, it’s the teammates they have by their side that drive them to do even better and perform at their best. Borgerding said, “This year as a team, we work very well together and I think with all of our standards we really push each other to help us be good, and we have improved tremendously from the beginning of the season to where we are now.”  

Kara Lyons, Staff Reporter