Serve it up: After state title run, Eagles hope to finish the job in 2018

Published 8:05 pm Monday, August 20, 2018

The Goshen Eagles volleyball team came up just short of winning their first state championship last season. Now with key players returning, head coach Amy Warrick and the Eagles are ready to make a return trip to Birmingham.

The Eagles have a total of 11 upperclassman returning from last year’s squad, including five seniors: Kate Warrick, Hannah Calhoun, Lydia Harrison, Jamecia Berry and Anastasia Mallard.

Those seniors helped get the Eagles to the championship match against St. Luke’s a season ago, now they hope to mold the Eagles under classman in 2018.

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“Some of these kids have never gotten the chance to start,” Warrick said. “We are not as experienced as we should be because we lost our two outside hitters. That doesn’t stop us; we have our goals set high. We are just going to take it one day at a time.”

Senior Libero Hannah Calhoun played a major role in the Eagles’ success last season and the hope is that the team learned a lot from the run towards a state championship.

“Last year we let our emotions get to us,” Calhoun said. “It was a new atmosphere that we weren’t used to. This year we are hoping to make it back and have a little more experience.”

“I just hope we make it back,” Harrison said. “We put in a lot of work this year. Even though we don’t have our dominant hitters it makes us rely on each other. Last year we were nervous and we really didn’t know what we were doing. Hopefully this year we will have a more experience.”
Success is not guaranteed and coach Warrick has expressed to her team that they will have to work harder this year to make it back towards the top.

“I think it was our fourth time going to state,” Warrick said. “I hope it made them hungry. I hope it made them want to be there again. They know they are going to have to work to get there. They are trying and they are working hard.”

In the past the Eagles have played in numerous tournaments throughout the year to get some added experience. That is no different this season. The Eagles will play in a handful of tournaments including one in Enterprise and Auburn.

“We get playing time as long as we stay in it,” Warrick said. “We get pool play games and as long as you keep winning it you get to keep playing. It gives us a chance to try rotations and change some things. It gives the girls more game experience.”

Calhoun returns as the team’s Libero this season. Calhoun along with Warrick will be looked upon to take another step forward this season.

“Hannah is our libero,” Warrick said. “She is our solid passer. Then we have Kate she was our setter last year, which will be great that this is her second-year setting.”

The Eagles will be utilizing a new offense, one that features two setters. Olivia Kyzar will join Kate Warrick in that position.

“We have Olivia setting on the other side of Kate,” Warrick said. “That is new for us, a new offense.”

Harrison will be back in the middle along with Mallard. Berry will be up front guarding the net.

“Everybody is in a position,” Kate Warrick said. “We don’t have our dominant hitter this year so we are having to rely on our passing and serving.”

The Eagles have been experiencing with different rotations this summer, but coach Warrick isn’t set on yet just yet.
“We haven’t exactly decided on a starting rotation yet,” Warrick said. “We’re pretty set on the people, we just don’t know where we are going to put them just yet.”

The junior varsity enters the season with a lot of young players that previously were called up from junior high.

“This is probably the youngest junior varsity (team) that I have ever put together,” Warrick said. “We were in a holding pattern with these five seniors, so it kind of backed everything up. All of a sudden I called everyone up and we had to pull some junior high kids that have never played anything but junior high volleyball to play junior varsity.”

The Eagles will start the season on August 30 on the road against Straughn.