Lady Hawks Volleyball Focusing on Growth

Lady Hawks Volleyball Focusing on Growth

Brittney Jennings, Guest Writer

For the past five years the Lady Hawks volleyball team has been struggling. It’s been pretty tough for them to find the motivation, but the talent is there. Five years ago the team received a new coaching staff, and they had to get to know the players, and the players had to get used to new coaches. The team this year has a good bond. An important thing about sports is that there is always room for improvement; all in all, this is an improving each year.

On August 27, 2016, the Hillcrest Lady Hawks competed in the annual Bremen Invitational. “The Hawks came in fired up and ready to go,” said Mr. Jennings, father of the middle hitter Brittney Jennings. In the first match, Hillcrest played a team called Chicago Ag whom the Hawks hadn’t been able to keep up with in the past. This year, the coaches have no doubts in their minds that these girls have potential and skills. The head coach Stansberry has said several times, “That was the best we’ve played against that team in six years,” and that was a huge accomplishment itself.

“It was neck and neck, and almost everyone was on the edge of their seats, literally, rooting for the Lady Hawks,” said Mr. Jennings. Although the Lady Hawks didn’t win they fought very hard and even took Ag to three games. One of their setters, Karima Jones said, “The opposing team even had to put in new players the second game, because we had great determination.”  Even the Hawks’ libero (the back row defensive player who is usually the quickest on the court and the best passer), Darlena York feels that way when she says, “We may not have a great record, but our work ethic and determination will shine through,” and it did.

img_3118Perhaps more importantly, this year’s team has become one big family. Taylor Winbush feels she can proudly say that this team has come as close as a family. Of course every family has its problems, but this family knows how to overcome them and pick one another up. It is crucial for any athlete to have the right mindset, and in the past the girls have had a difficult time figuring this out.

Karima Jones has been on the team for years, and it’s clear she sees the difference when she says, “This year we’ve got new girls with better mindsets and attitudes which allows us to get along and come together as one.” Although Karima and some of the other players believe in each other off the court, they need to continue having that same belief on the court. Coach Stansberry has said time and time again that once the girls start getting ahead and the other team scores, the girls’ energy level goes down.

These girls have to really want it and right now they haven’t found the motivation, but the way these girls are connecting, they’ll get there in no time as long as they have the love for the game.