Young talent

Ali Schuchmann, Sports Writer

It is rare that freshmen are able compete on a varsity team but it is even more noteworthy that freshman Libby Fandel, Sydney Huber, Carley Jonker and Carissa Timmerman are competing on the former 4A state championship winning volleyball team. Although the opportunity may be intimidating, Xavier volleyball’s head coach Austin Filer gave all the credit to the upperclassmen on the team for the girls’ smooth transitions. “We have a great group of upperclassmen that have shown them the expectations of our program and our systems. Our volleyball program is very specific on how things are completed both on and off of the court,” Filer said. “This can be challenging at first for incoming players to adjust, but our upperclassmen have done a fantastic job of leading through their words and their actions.” Senior and team captain Maya Karl also agreed. “I think we have helped them the most by letting them know that it is okay to make mistakes and by being their personal cheerleaders when things go well,” Karl said. The freshmen admire and appreciate all the support from their coaches and teammates to help make the transition to varsity volleyball smooth. “My favorite part about being on the team is playing with a really nice group of girls who always push me to get better. The seniors are really nice and I love playing with them,” said Jonker. Their success did not come without putting in a lot of hard work and dedication to the sport. “I got to where I am today through club volleyball, practicing and putting in work outside of practice. The people around me have also helped me to get better and pushed me to do my best, especially my parents and coaches,” Fandel said. Additionally, they have all participated on the same club volleyball team the past 2 years which has helped establish chemistry before joining the varsity team. “I originally started club in 5th grade. I went to an Adrenaline camp two years after I started club. I liked the coaches and everything else so I tried out and have been playing at Adrenaline for almost three years,” Timmerman said. Come support the Saints at their next volleyball match on Tuesday, September 30th against Linn -Mar at the Linn- Mar High School Aux gym.