Mustang High School’s volleyball program welcomed their new teams on Monday, after hosting their second clinic last weekend.
Last year, the varsity volleyball team was going into the season with a new coach and eight seniors with lots of experience.
“Last year we had some really good players,” Head Coach Steve Hajek said. “But this year, a lot of girls are stepping up.”
This year, there are only four seniors. Hajek said he didn’t want to discredit his seniors because they’re talented, but he’s also excited with the amount of underclassmen stepping up to the plate as leaders and filling important roles for the team.
“Big picture wise, it’ll help us more. We’ll have them on the court longer and help them grow and improve more as a team,” Hajek said. “It’s everyone this year and it’s helping us out.
“I’m excited about some of the younger girls. We have some young players starting.”
Although last year was Hajek’s first year to teach high school volleyball, he has been coaching volleyball to high-school ages since the 1990s and it was just a title change for him.
Last year, volleyball missed going to the state one game, but Hajek said it was a complete turnaround from previous seasons and the team will just keep improving.
“I just love the game. Volleyball is a part of my life. At the end of it all, I just always talk about how much the girls have improved because that’s what counts,” Hajek said.
Even through the weekend clinic, Hajek said they witnesses some girls improve a lot overnight and he can’t wait to see how much they improve throughout the season.
The goal again this year is making it to state.
“We always have a vision of going to state. Talent wise—yes we’ll get there. But we have a lot of young girls and we need experience and need to work on meshing as a team,” Hajek said.
Hajek came in last year changing up previous plays, but this year it’ll stay about the same. They’ll want to control the net.
He also said the team is “very solid defensively,” and are constantly giving 100 percent.
Assistant Coach Jody Miles said this year they will implement more conditioning, which is something they haven’t always focused on.
Volleyball will go into their first scrimmage on July 29 at Mustang, followed by another scrimmage on Aug. 5 at Southmoore.
Their first game will be at 6 p.m. Aug. 8 at Moore High School.
To view the full schedule, visit www.mustangbroncos.org/main/teamschedule/id/17564/seasonid/4236921.
There’s usually about 12 girls per team, but this year they wanted to implement different amounts and carry some extra girls to develop more players.
Hajek said their spots aren’t set all year round, and if coaches witness someone who deserves to move up then they will.
This year’s teams, which were picked at tryouts on Monday, are:
Steavi Claire Purcell
Anna Beth Fehrle
“We have a real good group of girls. They really want it. They’re not quitting and they all work hard. We have a group of fighters,” Hajek said.