Communication is key for Hayden volleyball in 2022 |

Communication is key for Hayden volleyball in 2022

Hayden volleyball then-junior Bella Svoboda sets the ball to a teammate in a home game against Vail Mountain in 2021. Svoboda is now part of a strong pack of four seniors leading the Tigers in 2022.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Teamwork is the No. 1 focus for Hayden volleyball under the reign of first year head coach Becky Copeland. 

Copeland has never been a head coach before, and she says the game has changed since she was in school, so she finds it important to have open communication with her athletes to create a strong team bond. 

The athletes often watch film with Copeland, and they share notes with each other to come up with drills and strategies for practices. Through this inclusion, the team has operated as a true family unit. 

“It’s important to get input from the girls and how they feel like they are playing and what they feel like they are working with and working towards and what they need to improve on,” Copeland said. “That open dialogue, this year we’re definitely working together.”

The girls have competed in six matches so far this season, four of which came at a tournament in Rangely in mid-August. The Tigers went 3-1 in the tournament and created strong momentum to build on. 

Since then, they have split their two other matches, winning one and most recently falling against Meeker in straight sets.

Hayden has a variety of experience on its roster, and the starters vary from veteran seniors to a first-year varsity sophomore. 

“The girls work really well together,” Copeland said. “The senior girls that I have now are really good at taking the younger girls under their wing and showing them the ropes of the game and keeping them on task but doing it in a kind way too. It’s kind of like a mentoring situation.”

The Tigers return to their home court on Sept. 9, for a league game against Cedaredge. The team has already played Cedaredge at the tournament in Rangely and came out victorious, winning 2-1. 

With an 0-1 league record so far, this will be a great chance for the Tigers to get back on track in their division and keep the momentum alive. 

The coach said the girls have been ecstatic to be back on the court with their teammates and cannot wait to see what they are truly made of as the season goes on.

“It has been really exciting especially since we are kind of all new playing together,” Copeland said. “We weren’t exactly sure how we were going to do and the girls are playing so well this year, it’s amazing to come off of a win and see all of the excitement in the locker room, and they all go out for food afterwards. They’re a really tight-knit group.”

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