The 2009 volleyball team is anticipating an exciting season. With a new head coach and a majority of the team being freshman, chemistry and teamwork will be keys for success.
The 13-member team may be young but are passionate for the game and willing to work hard, says Head Coach Dawn Naylon, who has moved up to the head coach spot. Assisting her is former head coach Jolene Leseman. Naylon says Leseman's many years of coaching experience will be a strong asset for the team.
Returning sophomores include Kaitlyn Kielsmeier, Faith Christian High School, a skilled setter that had a lot of court time last season, Elyce Naylon, Polo, an experienced player with strong passing, serving and hitting skills, Merissa Johnson, Rock Falls, a talented front-court hitter and blocker, and Lindsey Hall, Sterling, who brings consistent serving and passing. These four have shown great leadership and commitment during the off season and will be looked to set the tone for hard work.
Nine talented area freshmen join the 2009 Skyhawks. They included Sophia Aponte, Sterling; Shelby Caudillo, Rock Falls; Samantha Church, Prophetstown; Maryssa Howell, Newman; Kami Kielsmeier, Faith Christian; Sarah Weber, Sterling Christian; Alicia Eastman and Sarina Venier, both from Dixon. The Skyhawks have worked hard on basic skills for an effective offense and defense. Transition is the key, says Naylon.
"Our players are going to have to be willing to scrap on defense and then work hard to turn it into a strong offense to be competitive," she says. "Overall, size is a negative for the Skyhawks but the team will make up for it with defensive quickness. This is a great group of players to work with, says Naylon, they work hard and have fun."
Team captains are Kielsmeier and Naylon. Both players, Coach Naylon says, had a lot of playing time last year and know what it takes for the team to be successful.
The Skyhawks' schedule includes 16 regular season games and 4 tournaments.