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HHS volleyball at home to start season

Published on -8/27/2012, 9:44 AM

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By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

For all but three girls on the Hays High School volleyball team, varsity is a whole new frontier -- even for the head coach.

Christin Nunnery took over as head coach for the Indians following Sarah Nuss' resignation Aug. 1. Nuss resigned because she took a job that would no longer allow her to serve as head coach.

Nunnery was hired just a week before practices started, so it was a quick turn around for her. Nunnery, a six-year assistant coach, mainly has been in charge of the junior varsity in her tenure at Hays High.

With a team full of first-year varsity players, she said it's been a learning experience for all.

"We are learning together," Nunnery said. "We are setting goals together. They are funny because they ask if they can condition every day and go to the weight room. They are really pushing themselves."

Hays High begins the season with a 4 p.m. quadrangular Tuesday at the HHS gym.

The team will be without all-league honorable mention selection, senior Katelyn Schumacher, who chose to compete in a fall softball league instead of volleyball.

The Indians return just three athletes who played varsity last season: seniors Mikayla Linn, middle hitter, Millie Copper, middle hitter, and Shea Briggs, right-side hitter.

Senior Sydney Niernberger will start at left side hitter. Niernberger is one of the players Nunnery has had the most experience with since she coached her from her freshmen year to now.

"She is one of the most coachable players you'll ever find," Nunnery said.

Three of the players who will see the most time will be freshmen. Madison Prough will start at setter. Tessa Stickel will play right-side hitter and Albany Schaffer will play libero.

"The seniors have really stood behind these freshmen and like to play with them," Nunnery said. "It hasn't been hard for freshmen to step in. With having that support, they are going to be fine."

Nunnery said the team will run a 6-2 formation with Briggs and junior Tori Aten splitting time as setters.

Sophomore right side hitter Hannah Hearld also should see playing time.

The Indians finished 16-17 last season -- the school's best finish since 2005.

Though the team is full of youth, Nunnery said her team expects to build upon last season's record.

"They want to have a successful year, and they want to have a winning year," Nunnery said. "I think that combination between the seniors and the freshmen that we are pulling up, they want to win. An average season isn't something they are shooting for.

"They have pretty high goals, and they are going to do everything they can to reach those goals," she added.

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