Kyra Taylor was a “consistent force” on the outside pin for Batavia in the spring.
The Bulldogs will be looking for a repeat performance from the third-year outside hitter.
“We, as a whole, had some really good options hitting-wise last year,” Batavia coach McKenna Kelsay said. “We ran a pretty balanced offense, I’d say, so it wasn’t like one kid [dominated stats]. … Things were pretty spread out. … We had a lot of strong hitters, and it was nice to have that balance.
“Kyra is the kind of kid that you know if we set her that ball, she’s going to make it better,” Kelsay continued. “If she has to adjust, she’s going to get that ball over the net. If we need a big swing, she’s going to give us a big swing. I think she’s even worked on that even more throughout this summer in terms of having that consistent force, whether it’s in the front row, whether it’s in the back row being in the pass … she looks like a senior outside.”
Kelsay said that in camps, tryouts and the team’s first practices that Taylor “is working really hard.”
“That’s what you look for in your senior outside and so I’m really excited about it,” Kelsay said. “I think she’s going to be that constant force, wherever she is, she’s just a very [solid] player at all levels.”
In the spring season, the 5-foot-7 Taylor had 85 kills, nine blocks and 20 aces. Being perhaps on the shorter end of prototypical outside hitters, Taylor sometimes has to make adjustments and use what defenses give her.
“I feel like one of my main goals the past couple years I’ve been playing volleyball has definitely been my consistency,” Taylor said. “As Kelsay said, I have gotten a lot more consistent because I’ve been focusing on that. I just want to keep improving on that.”
The Bulldogs also are looking for another strong showing from junior setter/right side Amanda Otten.
Kelsay has observed from both last year and in club sessions that Otten has improved control with her hitting.
“Her body control, her ability to adjust, especially if the ball is not perfect, we’re seeing that [improve] on her hitting and her setting,” Kelsay said. “I know I’m saying consistent a lot but she just looks and has come in with these last couple of weeks as, again, a very calm [presence].
“You kind of need that as a setter – somebody who is going to lead but somebody who is going to be a calming force and say ‘All right, this is what we’re going to do. I’m going to put that ball up’ and she’s putting up some really good balls,” Kelsay said. “We’re looking once again for her and our other setters to be able to run that balanced offense that we were able to run last year.”
Source: The Daily Chronicle