After four consecutive losing seasons, the Hall girls volleyball program is turning to an alumnae to turn things around.
Carolyn Bryant, a 1999 Hall graduate, has taken over the Red Devils after they went 8-26 overall last season and 1-11 in the Three Rivers Conference East Division.
“My expectations are to see growth, hustle and team chemistry,” said Bryant, who played for Laurie Polte at Hall before going on to play at IVCC and Kankakee Community College.
Bryant inherits a roster that features several players who gained varsity experience last fall, including seniors Clara Jablonski, Ella Taliani, Jennifer Casford and Lilliana Heredia along with junior Taylor Coutts.
Bryant said there has been a philosophy instilled that positions are not set in stone and must be earned.
“Our athletes know that all positions can change due to performance,” Bryant said.
Jablonski, an outside hitter, was third on the team in kills last season with 52 in 73 sets. Sophie Delphi and Kennedy Wozniak also will contribute as outside hitters.
Casford and Heredia, who are middle hitters, both saw some time on the varsity last season.
Casford put down 21 kills in 44 sets, while Heredia played in 18 sets.
Coutts will be the setter in the Red Devils’ 5-1 system. Last fall, Couts put up 131 assists in 61 sets. Coutts also had 135 digs, 37 kills an 16 aces for the Red Devils.
Taliani is a defensive specialist and is in the mix to play libero along with Cecelia Verucchi.
Haylie Pellegrini and Evey Meyer also will contribute in the back row.
The group of defensive specialists will help the Red Devils replace Katelyn Pullam, who ranked second in the area last season in digs at 5.7 per set.
“I have a few defensive players who are fighting for the libero position, but it may switch depending on strategy or performance,” Bryant said.
Bryant said “dedication and willingness to put the work in” are the Red Devils’ strengths this fall.
“All our athletes will have individual goals as well as team goals for every game,” Bryant said. “They will change frequently.”
Source: The Daily Chronicle