‘Kill mentality’ Soroco volleyball team carries confidence into 2019
OAK CREEK — It’s no secret that 2018 was subpar for the Soroco High School volleyball team.
The team went 9-12 overall and 4-8 against Western Slope opponents. The Rams dropped five games by a score of 3-1 and five more by way of a 3-0 sweep.
But that’s all in the past. The 2019 Rams are confident and ready to take on a new season.
“One of the most exciting things is watching last year grow to this year, because we have a little more experience and our chemistry has grown a lot,” junior outside hitter Makinley Parker said. “We’re pretty strong, and we play as a family.”
Senior middle Tyla Johnson described 2018 as a roller coaster, citing inconsistent play from set to set as a reason for the team’s subpar season. This year, as a leader, Johnson wants to help her team stay focused on the court to prevent that from happening.
Freshman setter Kylee Coleman said she’ll need a few things from the team’s leaders to transition into varsity high school volleyball.
“Definitely one that keeps the team up, always coming together in the middle, always saying ‘good job’ even if we didn’t get the point,” she said. “Always keeping up the energy because, if that doesn’t happen, we don’t do very well.”
One of the biggest reasons Soroco expects to succeed this year is numbers. In the seven years Jeannie Jo Logan has coached the Rams, this is one of, if not the biggest, roster she’s ever seen.
- Aug. 31: 1st at home tournament: vs. Ridgway 3-1, vs. Nucla 3-0, vs. Little Snake River (Wyoming) 3-1
- Sept. 5: at Lake County
- Sept. 10: at Vail Mountain
- Sept. 13: vs. DeBeque, 5:30 p.m.
- Sept. 14: at Vail Christian
- Sept. 17: vs. North Park
- Sept. 20: vs. Caprock
- Sept. 28: Simla Tournament
- Oct. 3: at Hayden
- Oct. 4: at Plateau Valley
- Oct. 11: vs. Hotchkiss
- Oct. 12: vs. Paonia
- Oct. 18: at Rangely
- Oct. 21: vs. Moffat County
- Oct. 25: vs. West Grand
- Oct. 26: vs. Meeker
During her years coaching the girls in maroon, Logan has focused on defense, but the 2019 squad wants to implement more offense into its game plan.
“The girls are really wanting to hit and really get after that. So, giving them the opportunity to have the hitting time and run offense in practice is pretty important,” Logan said. “It’s exciting to see that. I haven’t had a team wanting to hit and really get after it like that for a few years. It’s a fun team.”
As a 5-foot-10 middle blocker, Johnson will play a huge role in a potentially powerful offense. Returning outside hitters Peyton and Parker will also bring their best to the net, with Parker, a junior, offering talent as well as expertise and leadership.
“She’s got a lot of experience under her belt and has seen a lot of scenarios and situations,” Logan said of Parker.
Soroco opened the season at home with a tournament on Saturday, Aug.31, winning the day with a 3-0 record.
The Rams pick up play against Lake County on Thursday, Sept. 5, and face their first conference opponent in Vail Mountain on Tuesday, Sept. 10.
There is one major thing about the 2018 season the Rams want to carry into this year — defeating Hayden.
Soroco won out over the Tigers twice, 3-2 and 3-0, and will travel to Hayden on Thursday, Oct. 5, for the season’s only matchup between the rivals.
“We wake up, we go and we’re like, ‘Alright, today we play Hayden.’ We have that kill mentality,” Johnson said. “Even though we may be good friends with a lot of the girls on that team, we may be close with them outside of the game, but when it’s game time, it’s game time. They’re not your friends anymore. They’re your competitors.”
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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