FREMONT – Turning the Fremont Ross volleyball program into a winner is a process that isn’t going to be completed overnight.
But that’s OK, because its seniors are in it for the long haul.
Though seniors Izzy Held and Hayley Lawrence may not be around long enough to reap the full rewards when the Lady Giants turn the corner, they want to know they helped chart the course.
“Me and Hayley, we really want to lead and show the younger kids, ‘Try to do this, try to do that,’ so that once we’re gone, they can bring that up and teach everyone else and they can pass it down. We try to be good leaders and teach them everything we can while we’re here.”
With an all-new coaching staff, including head coach Lindi Cahill, the Lady Giants are a young team, with four sophomores and five juniors – many of whom are first-year varsity players. Therefore, Held and Lawrence, two of the team’s few returning letter-winners, are doing all they can to get everyone acquainted and molded into a solid unit.
“The biggest challenge is how we gel, our connection. That’s the big thing, getting it to just gel together,” Lawrence said.
“I think we have a lot of potential,” she added. “We do have a lot of younger girls that it’s their first time playing varsity, but we have the talent. We could totally beat a lot of the teams that we play and even play hard against the big teams like St. Ursula and Notre Dame. We have to keep working and we’ll get there eventually.”
Keeping working has been a point Cahill and her staff have been trying to drive home in the early-going of the season.
“I would say, we’ve had a couple games in the last two weeks they’re they didn’t compete as hard as they could,” Cahill said. “So, some of that is part of the process, some of that is they’re young and there are so many things to teach, but they come to practice ready to work every day. They’re really receptive to coaching and we have really good people in the gym working with them. I think, skill-wise we’re still improving. Expectations for our competitiveness, we’re still coming along.”
From their vantage points, the seniors believe Cahill’s arrival has brought not only a drive to be successful, but also keeping a sense of belief and togetherness.
“We have a lot more positivity with our coaching staff,” Lawrence said. “They really want to change the program, so I think they’re really working hard to do it. We’ve done a lot more team-building that we just didn’t do last year. We did a team lock-in and just a lot of different things. She really lets me and Izzy act like seniors, which we really didn’t get last year.”
Said Held: “They really put volleyball first. They put the girls first and they really want us to bring in change, change the program. They do a really good job of that.”
Wednesday night, the Lady Giants picked up their second victory of the season, rolling to a 3-0 sweep of Toledo Woodward by scores of 25-5, 25-3, 25-11.
“Tonight was a good night in that everybody played, everybody had touches, we got our freshman an opportunity to serve and play defense,” Cahill said. “Tonight was good night just to allow some people to feel comfortable in different positions.”
The Lady Giants (2-4 overall) host Lima Senior Thursday night at 7:30