By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Chisholm’s second-year volleyball program is showing signs of growth.
The Lady Longhorns, 5-4, already have won two more matches than they did in their rookie season a year ago,
“We’re a lot better than we were last year,’’ said Chisholm coach Megan Middleton. “The girls have built on what they learned last year. It’s a little more exciting. We have some experience now. The girls are super excited about being there.’’
The Lady Longhorns progress may be measured today when they host 5A power Oklahoma Bible Academy. The freshmen go off at 4, followed by the JV at 5 and the varsity at 6.
One of Chisholm’s three wins a year ago came against the OBA JV.
“We’re excited about it,’’ Middleton said. “Our girls tend to work harder against team that are more competitive. We know OBA’s history (five straight trips to state), but the fact that we did beat their JV is a good start.’’
The Lady Longhorns still are having some growing pains.
“You see parts of last year creeping back at times,’’ Middleton said. “When we play somebody whose players have played longer than we have, we still get a little nervous and get up tight.
“But we are more confident. We really compete with them. We might not always win, but we do think we can compete with them (better teams).’’
The lineup still is young with two freshmen (Kaylee Petersen and Riley Raynor), two sophomores (Nicole Middleton and Elizabeth Bullard), one junior (Bailey Ford) and one senior (Shannon Grimes).
“We playing as a team better than we did all of last year,’’ said coach Middleton. “Right now, Kaylee is the one pushing us the most. She’s played quite a bit in the past and that helps a lot.’’
Raynor and Bullard are learning to be the setters, something neither has done before.
“They’re both good athletes,’’ said coach Middleton. “They’re basically the quarterbacks on the court.’’
The biggest improvement from last year, coach Middleton said, was running offenses.
“Before, it was we didn’t know where to set or who to set it to,’’ she said. “We need to find the hitters at the right time.
“Last year, only a few people had played before. We had to teach them how to rotate. A lot of people don’t understand how much goes into volleyball. In certain rotations, you have to learn where you’re suppose to be at what time. It’s tough to remember all of that at once if you hadn’t played.’’
The program still is developing.
“It’s still a new program,’’ coach Middleton said. “People want to see what it’s all about. They don’t know how much work goes into it, but we’re doing much better.’’