There are several new faces on the First Presbyterian Christian Academy volleyball squad this year, including Holly Buckley, the new coach.
Buckley said she played volleyball during high school in Indiana and college in Jacksonville, Fla. She began coaching soon after, but took some time off to start a family. Her child has been a student at FPCA for six years and Buckley said she is ready to start coaching again.
"Now I’m back into coaching," she said. "And the first thing I wanted to work on was the proper techniques of volleyball.
They were lacking a lot of the basic skills."
The entire squad, minus one player, is relatively new to the sport. Most of last year’s starters transferred to Liberty High or Bradwell.
"I have one senior, a couple of 10 and 11th graders," Buckley said. "But they were not full time players last year. So it’s a new group of girls and I have a lot of new ones that never stepped foot on a volleyball court before."
Starting from scratch Buckley appointed her lone senior, Morgan York as the team captain and is working on making her a setter.
"She’s never set before and she has taken on that position very well," Buckley said. "As the setter she takes every second ball so as we work from one hit to three hits she is there for every second ball. Now we just got to work on that spike to execute the bump, set and spike."
The coach said she plans to develop the defense first then work toward developing the offense and the principal of three hits necessary for volleyball.
"By the end of the season, I would like to see them doing nothing but the bump, set and spike," the coach said. "We are working toward that."
With four games under their belt Buckley said she has noticed a change in her team’s skill level.
"It’s a different team from game one to game four," she said. "A completely different team because of the way they are playing. Teamwork, they are playing as a team instead of six individuals out there. I told the girls it’s not all about winning and losing it’s the journey to how we get to the end. I hate to lose. I’m very competitive and with every game we are improving."
The coach said this first season is a learning curve for her as much as it is for her players.
"It’s a learning year for everybody with the hope that next year we will be able to hit the ground running and be ready to do the bump, set and spiking from game one."
The Lady Highlanders host Heritage Christian in a region game on Tuesday. The junior varsity will hit the court at 4 p.m. and the varsity starts at 5 p.m. The Highlanders’ home game is at St. James Sports Center.