Karen O’Brien found out late very last calendar year she was going through a recurrence of her ovarian cancer. She nonetheless was in a position to coach St. Mary Catholic Central to a state volleyball championship in January.
But going through yet another exhausting battle with the disorder, O’Brien elected to stage aside this summer as SMCC prepares for the 2021-22 season and chance to assert a third straight title.
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Cassie Haut, who assisted final year with the varsity, will choose in excess of O’Brien’s purpose indefinitely.
“It was the approach that I would choose a more substantial role,” explained Haut. “Her prepare is still to be about and be in this article to coach and support, but it can be much more about just doing what she can do now. She requirements her time, so I mentioned I am additional than delighted to assistance choose that in excess of.”
Haut is no stranger to SMCC volleyball.
She graduated from SMCC in 2015, assisting the Kestrels earn a state championship her senior calendar year. She went on to a productive volleyball job at Japanese Michigan College wherever she grew to become a person of the top hitters in Eagles’ application heritage.
The changeover from assistant mentor to head coach has been smooth for the former Kestrel, who has inherited a younger, but energetic staff. SMCC graduated seven seniors who all performed sizeable roles past year.
So, you will find a good deal of get the job done to be completed to fill the gaps.
“We’re just hoping to uncover exactly where all our parts in shape this calendar year,” Haut reported. “Each individual calendar year is different. Just about every year you get rid of and you attain. We’re younger but it’s about getting exactly where all the pieces fit. It is about getting the connections and who molds where.”
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Senior Ava Kuehnlein said the faces all over the health and fitness center throughout exercise could be a minor distinctive, but it really is however the similar SMCC volleyball.
“For getting so quite a few new, more youthful, fewer seasoned gamers, I thought we may possibly have a very little hassle at initial in our procedures, but we have definitely progressed about the previous two weeks,” she mentioned. “At our scrimmage, you could tell we were being new and coming with each other even now, but most people here is all set to get the job done for it.”
Kuehnlein will enjoy libero/defensive specialist for SMCC this year and is one of five seniors on the workforce who are helping guidebook the upcoming era of Kestrels into starting to be element of the team’s storied culture.
“We’re teaching them about our traditions and how it really is normally been below,” she stated. “We think strongly in welcoming all people listed here. It can be all about household and coming collectively. … Without having staying a staff and coming jointly as a person, we cannot perform as one particular.”
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Society is as vital as practice in creating a group in the course of the summer time.
Which is been one of the largest goals for initial-yr varsity mentor Angela Tedora at Monroe Significant.
The Trojans have experienced three different head coaches in the previous 4 a long time, but Tedora provides a common face. She has coached the junior varsity workforce for the past 6 seasons and briefly stepped in as varsity mentor a handful of a long time back to aid the crew finish out the past couple weeks of its season.
“I adore this sport and a lot of these young children I have been with their complete large university job,” she explained. “Remaining ready to finish some of them out is a fantastic option.”
Tedora’s tenure took a hard flip in the first week of practice in the gymnasium. Intense storms took out the ability at the school for the duration of tryouts previous 7 days.
“We completed out tryouts in the dim,” she mentioned. “We were being actually here when the storm hit and we only had emergency lights. So, we finished in the darkish. Then we practiced in the dark the relaxation of the 7 days with emergency lights only.”
Senior Mackenzie Tucker laughed at the memory of working towards in the dark.
“It was a little tough, but you just have to offer with it,” Tucker explained. “It was not also lousy. It designed it a very little much more everyday. It was in the darkish, so it can not be much too hardcore.”
Tucker is a senior with 3 a long time of varsity encounter. Anna Tedora also is a a few-year returner. Seniors Gabriella Anderson, Kamryn Bice, and Abbie Rorke also return.
“We have a good deal of seniors and a lot of returners,” Tucker said. “We have a great deal of men and women who have been on varsity and only a couple new persons, so we know how it is and what we have to do.”
That team has introduced a ton of passion and vitality to procedures and summer time workouts early in the time. That is some thing that has been lacking in modern many years, in accordance to Tucker.
“I truly delight in how it is appropriate now,” Tucker mentioned. “We’re sitting down and conversing via a lot of issues in strategies we did not ahead of. We’re chatting as a result of a whole lot of things and trying a whole lot of factors that we did not do in the past.”
Coach Tedora explained she has noticed that exact strength in the girls.
“There’s a ton of enjoyment in the gymnasium,” she explained. “They’re all fired up to be taking part in. We went to a preseason scrimmage at Owens Community University and the energy I saw from the youngsters there was greater than the vitality I’ve seen in the previous 5 several years.”
That is accurately the legacy Tucker and the other seniors hope to go away behind lengthy immediately after they wander across the stage at graduation next spring.
“Most people is executing that, everybody is operating for what we want to come to be,” Tucker claimed. “I just want to do the finest we can. It is always the target to gain, but there are game titles we have performed in the past where we played really well even nevertheless we missing. … We want to enjoy like that all 12 months.”