New faces bring new electricity to preseason volleyball camps

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.”

Ava Kuehnlein digs up the ball during practice at SMCC.

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.

Cassie Haut, who will stepping up to coach St. Mary Catholic Central's volleyball team this fall while Karen O'Brien deals with cancer treatments, laughs with assistant coach Taylor Vuich before a recent practice.

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.”

Monroe High School head coach Angela Tedora runs through hitting drills with her players at practice this past week.

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.