Jackson relying on senior standouts | Volleyball
Last updated 9/16/2016 at Noon
A significant number of new faces are hitting the court for the first time for the Jackson volleyball team.
Only four players are back from last year’s state tournament team. But those four players seniors Alex Crittenden, Milli Dofelmier, Savannah Horton and Hailey Nelson are providing strong leadership on and off the court for the new players.
“We’re fortunate we have some strong leadership,” Jackson coach Mindy Staudinger said. “We have some very passionate individuals and I expect them to be strong leaders.”
The seniors have taken the initiative to welcome the freshmen into the program and into their new high school.
“In a social sense, they are showing very strong leadership skills,” Staudinger said. “As far as players, they are doing the same thing.”
The Wolfpack’s experience is spread out all over the court with Horton at libero, Crittenden at outside hitter, Dofelmier at middle blocker and Nelson, who is listed as an outside hitter and middle blocker.
“Hailey Nelson has really come along and she is a great utility player,” Staudinger said. “I can put her in any spot and she can get the job done. I’m looking forward to seeing them all shine this year.”
The Timberwolves has the potential to field a tall lineup with junior Lauren Demoulin (6-foot-2), sophomore Olivia Skibiel (6-1), junior Hannah Neal (6-1) and Crittenden (5-11).
“We have some good height. We have some strength in our defense,” Staudinger said. “I’d say that is one of our strong suits.”
The competition within the team is fierce and that’s the way Staudinger prefers it to be.
“No spot is secure and if they don’t keep working hard, it can be taken away,” she said. “It’s always a fight. We love each other, but we want to play.”
The players already are a tight-knit group.
“This is probably the strongest team I’ve seen as far as cohesiveness since I’ve been here,” said Staudinger, who is entering her fourth year at Jackson. “They support each other. It’s just nice to see. I think it’s to our benefit in the long run.”