By TERRY GROOVER
Rachel Allred said she was pleased with how her girls performed Thursday during Yukon’s first volleyball action of the year.
The Millerettes hosted a scrimmage that featured five other schools, including their junior varsity and freshman squads.
Allred said all three teams — varsity, junior varsity and freshmen — performed well.
“All three teams performed very well for the first scrimmage of the season. All three groups have a mixture of players who have never played all together before, but were able to make major adjustments and grow closer as a team as the day went on,” Allred said.
The coach said the varsity squad, despite missing a key player, had a strong offensive performance.
Lead hitters for the day were Addison Wimmer, Katie Clark, Kaylee Coleman and Rachel Kittell, she said.
“Katie really impressed me at middle and has grown tremendously as a player since last season. Her leadership and positivity, even as a sophomore, are also huge assets for the team,” Allred said.
Another player who shined, she said, was Wimmer, who worked both the outside and right side hitting positions.
“There is still some fine-tuning to do to figure out where she will go to help us most,” the coach said.
In addition, Hattie Hughes and Kashlei Vo showed improvement as setters and are working closer with their hitters, the coach said.
“It’s exciting to get started with the group. There is lots of promise offensively,” Allred said.
Meanwhile, defensively, the coach said her players showed lots of hustle.
“Baylie Thiel excelled as libero, as she did last season, with Gabbi Mobarak along side her. Those two communicate on the court so well that it’s hard for most to understand. They hustle, move, talk and react as well as any defensive players that I’ve had at Yukon over the years. They are fun to watch and keep the team going,” she said.
Allred said the varsity is continuing to focus on improving.
“Varsity will be working on finalizing positions for each player, particularly hitters, setter/hitter communication and blocking,” she said.
Meanwhile, the junior varsity team played well during the scrimmages.
Allred said the key for that team is to continue to focus on communication.
“The freshmen group is mainly focused on perfecting our defense, and the setter/hitter communication for better execution on offense. The junior varsity is focused on hitting smarter and better communication on the court,” the coach said.
Several players stood out during the day, Allred said.
“Kaylee Coleman is working both as an outside hitter and a middle to help the JV, along with hitters Anna Pogue and Avery Dean. River Housh and Brooklynn Bennet played excellent defense for both teams,” she said.
Allred said the returning starters on the varsity squad used their experience to succeed.
Those starters include Baylie Thiel, Gabbi Mobarak, Wimmer and Kittell.
“It was a long and tiring day, but a great start to the season, and a good starting place for deciding where we want to go from here. All three teams had a lot to take away from the day’s games, and both players and coaches have a better picture of our goals for the season and the direction we want to head with our teams,” Allred said.
The teams return to the court later this week when they travel to Mustang for another multi-team scrimmage.
It’s also the final look at the team before the season starts next week.
“This will be where we start fine-tuning the things we will focus on this coming week. …Players will also know where they will most likely play, and some on more than one team.
“It will be another long day of several games, and a good test for us,” Allred said.