By Jeremy McDonald
DALLAS, Ore.– There was a lot of turn-over for the Dallas Volleyball team as they enter the homestretch of their Summer Volleyball schedule.
With about a month left until try-outs, the Dragons were taking advantage of some Open Gym time Wednesday night to fill the voids. Voids mainly up in their front row after graduating five seniors from their 2021 5A Playoff team.
But returning are Grace Hannan, Olivia Hale and Hannah Callaway to help anchor the Dallas squad looking to make yet another trip to the postseason this Fall.
For Hale, she hopes to step up as a leader on the team and hopes the last three years on Varsity has prepared her to fill those gaps that they need to fill in terms of senior leadership on the court.
“My goal is to step up and be a leader since I am a senior and also not get into my head. If I have a tough game, just pick myself up for the next game,” Hale starts. “I think being on Varsity for four years, I am less timid and not as scared. So I’m more confident, so it’s easier just to be myself and connect with the team since I’ve played with Grace and Hannah for a few years now. So I feel like they have pushed me and helped me a lot.
“It’s important that we have a good season and that we can build the younger players to have a good season next year.”
Callaway points to hers and Hale’s senior class in hoping that they can build upon what they’ve learned through their time at Dallas, Callaway entering her third-year at the Varsity level, into being good leaders entering this Fall.
“Hopefully this year, me and other seniors as well like Liv, will kind of step up and take that role and be more of a voice than what was last year and see how far it’ll take us this year,” Callaway said.
Callaway points to Club sports in the offseason that has helped her prepare to be a Middle Hitter for the Dragons this year.
“That’s helped me so much tremendously,” Callaway starts. “Not just with hitting in the middle. My form, my footwork is just ten-times better. I’ve learned to play with different balls and different skill levels with girls. I think that’s made me a lot better of a player and helped me prepare for this next season.”
The Dragons will have one more week of Open Gyms before Moratorium Week the final week of July. The first day of try-outs and practice starts August 15 with the first game of the season for Dallas outside of August 25’s jamboree with be September 6’s Mid-Willamette Conference and Season Opener at West Albany.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald