Most members of Hayden High School's junior varsity 'B' volleyball team have been playing together since sixth grade or earlier.
Consequently, coach Chris Planansky said, the team's skill level was higher, and the girls' talent translated into positive results with a 12-2 season record.
"We had a very strong team," she said. "They picked it up very quickly."
Planansky said she wanted to pass on her knowledge of the game to the team, which consisted of eight freshmen and one junior.
"It all started in practice," Planansky said. "It is the high school level, and you have to start off tough. They were doing the same hitting drills as the varsity. They were able to execute them very well in game situations."
Planansky said the Tigers won a lot of matches during which they didn't play their best, so one of the highlights of the season, in her opinion, was a match Hayden lost.
"I think the one match that really made me extremely happy was ... our game against Moffat (County) at their house," Planansky said. "We took them to five games. I was so happy with the way they played and how hard they played."
The Hayden JV 'A' and 'B' teams were introduced to more complex drills and rotations this year and were successful with them. Planansky introduced her team to plays for which passes and players need to be in certain spots for them to work. She also introduced them to the libero -- a defensive specialist who can enter a match without checking in -- that is used at the Olympic level.
"They were hitting, which is something I don't think they were used to," Planansky said. "The (thing we worked on the most this year) was our passing. That is the key to volleyball. From there, they improved ten-fold."
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org