In what was an unconventional season, the Powell Middle School eighth-grade volleyball teams adapted well. The “A” team finished the season 4-5, and the “B” team finished the …
In what was an unconventional season, the Powell Middle School eighth-grade volleyball teams adapted well. The “A” team finished the season 4-5, and the “B” team finished the year 6-3.
Wearing masks and social distancing were major aspects of this season, but even with these obstacles, the girls stayed positive all year.
“The girls did such a great job adapting to the ‘new norm’ when playing volleyball this year,” head coach Amanda Johnston said. “They wore their masks when we asked them to and were very willing to follow any other social distancing requests that we had.”
Early into the 2020 campaign, Johnston noticed the players’ passion for the sport, and that fueled improvement as the season progressed.
“The girls seemed to genuinely like playing volleyball, and that made the practices pretty fun,” Johnston said. “Even after they finished running drills and were exhausted, they were still smiling. They all worked hard to make each other better.”
Before the season, some of Johnston’s goals included seeing every girl improve their individual games. The coach saw this come into fruition over the Cubs’ nine games.
“Skill wise, we saw a lot of improvement with serving consistency,” Johnston said. “The girls also grew more comfortable and improved playing individual positions, which was fun to see.”
There were several Cubs who stood out to Johnston as top individual performers this year.
The coach said Sophie Czirr was the team’s top improver, despite coming into the year “with very little volleyball experience. Throughout the season she improved her serves, movement on the court and passes.”
Kenna Jacobsen and Saige Kidd as two of Powell’s best leaders, each being “strong middle and outside players with great attitudes,” Johnston said. And she noted Quin Vogel and Timber Neves as two players who did well working between the A and B teams this year.
There were plenty of memorable moments for the eighth-grade teams, but perhaps the most significant came in the Cubs’ last games of 2020: Both the A and B teams defeated Riverton to wrap up the season.
“The girls peaked and played better than they had ever played,” Johnston said. “I was especially proud of how much their skill level had improved since the beginning of the season. It was really great to wrap up the season on such a high.”
Now that the season is over, so are these girls’ middle-school volleyball careers. Johnston said she looks forward to seeing them compete once they make the leap to the high school realm next year.
“I think that the girls were able to grow as a team as the season progressed,” Johnston said. “That is also really important because they will be playing together through high school. All of us coaches can’t wait to watch them.”