OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa volleyball team gave fans and parents a sneak peek of what the season would be like at “Meet the Bulldogs” night at the Evans Middle School gym.
Volleyballs sailed through the air in all directions, aces were made, kills were finished with authority and long volleys were exchanged throughout the night as the rhythmic sound of hand on ball filled the gymnasium.
The night kicked off with two intra-squad scrimmages between the freshman and junior varsity teams taking place on both sides of the court inside the gym. The freshman squad was all decked out in white uniforms and the junior varsity scrimmage featured one team clad in white T-shirts and the other team donning black T-shirts.
Both matches were competitive, as teammate tried to outdo teammate. After the scrimmages were concluded the crowd was introduced to the freshman and junior varsity players.
Then the volleyball nets were taken down in anticipation of the main event: Varsity against varsity. Instead of having two nets, one single net was set up at halfcourt for the Bulldogs’ varsity squad. After the equipment was set up, the girls’ team emerged through the gym doors as music filled the arena. The Bulldogs practiced their warm-ups to the beat of an eclectic mix of music.
The varsity split into two teams: A red team and a white team.
Outside hitter Megan Black was especially effective for the red team; scoring several points with a mixture of aces and kills. Libero Olivia Roark, who also played for the red team; also had a couple of kills.
“I think we had really nice passes and covered the ball nicely and our serves were they were supposed to be,” defensive specialist Kelsey Guyette said. “Our team’s pretty young, so mainly I think we need to work on covering our hitters and just talking more.”
Beth Overturf said one strength of this year’s team is that everyone gets along well.
The girls that make up this year’s varsity team are: Katie Sammons, middle hitter; Overturf, setter; Guyette, defensive specialist; Roark, libero; Megan Black, outside hitter; Karissa Wilcoxson, right side; Megan Cobler, right side hitter; Chloe Davis, setter; Mallary Simmer, right side hitter, Hope Bitner, middle hitter; Jaiden Cloyd, defensive specialist; Ellie Hammack, outside hitter, Ashlyn Nordyke and Sammy Garrett (injured).
The girls kick off their season at Des Moines North Thursday.