BIG HORN — With a fairly new team this season, the Big Horn volleyball program will focus on one word: relentless.
Head coach Katie Stewart asked her captains to come up with a motto before the season. The three seniors chose relentless, which means attacking the ball, especially on defense. It means going for every loose ball and not giving up, even if they get bruised as a result.
“Whatever it takes to keep the ball from hitting the floor, always diving, going for a ball you don’t even think you can get to,” Stewart said. “When we’re down a set, be relentless. Even when we’re getting our butts kicked by those 4A teams we play sometimes, never rolling over and letting them walk on you.”
Outside hitter and captain Shyan Davidson being relentless can help make up for potentially weak areas.
“Since there’s not much height on our team, we’re going to have to rely on our defense,” Davidson said. “We’re going to have to be really scrappy and just all-out relentless.”
In Stewart’s first season as head coach last year, the Lady Rams finished fifth at state. Despite losing most of their starters to graduation, the team is not lowering its expectations.
They all mentioned returning to state as a realistic goal, and then potentially making some noise. Stewart said a state championship is within the realm of possibility.
“That is the ultimate goal, always, but I think it really is truly attainable this year,” Stewart said. The three captains — Davidson, Sydney Schmidt and Jenny Trabert — have been playing together since they were in elementary school so they have an excellent connection and will focus on bringing the rest of the team along with them.
Schmidt, a middle hitter, said team chemistry is the most important aspect for the team this season.
“Your team has to be your family, or you’re not going to do very well,” Schmidt said.
Trabert, who plays setter, echoed that refrain and said the group effort is her favorite aspect of the sport.
“Everyone has a part on the team,” Trabert said. “It’s all a chain reaction (and) that makes it great.”
When the inevitable mistakes occur, Davidson said keeping cool and staying relentless can be difficult. Schmidt agreed.
“It’s hard to do well if you’re always in your head,” Schmidt said. “That’s another big thing that we’re working on.”
With so many new faces, Stewart will determine the lineups that work best throughout the season. The team excelled at passing last season and will miss some of that this year but should be a quality serving and hitting team.
The Lady Rams are still sorting out their best lineups, but they have high, relentless aspirations.