Molly Sly likened the start of Rochelle’s high school summer volleyball camp to beginning the fall season two months early. Entering her first year as head coach of the Lady Hubs, Sly and her coaching staff are working to make sure the girls are ready to go when the season begins in late August.
“We’re getting to knock off the rust so that when the first day of practice comes we’re ready to go,” Sly said. “We want to hit it hard and we want to see some major improvements, which I’ve already seen from the girls on their club teams. We want to see progression from last season to this week and into this season.”
Sly previously spent two years as a varsity assistant coach for the Lady Hubs after coming over to Rochelle from Earlville. The Lady Hubs will be looking to make a significant turnaround after winning just 15 matches over the last two seasons. Sophomore coach Lindsay Suess will be Sly’s varsity assistant this year, while former head coach John Pfaff will lead the freshman squad.
“I’ve seen major improvements from girls who were at the sophomore level,” Sly said. “I think they’re going to fit right in, and I think they’ll push the seniors and the seniors will push them. I’m really looking forward to the upcoming season.”
Rochelle will play its first Summer League game on Tuesday as the Lady Hubs continue to prepare for the new season. Returning seniors who worked through drills on Monday include Sarah Craven, Emma Mehrings, Emily Engelkes, Kelsey Thompson and Abby Tilton. Juniors such as Katie Van Hise, Maggie Duval, Emma Smith, Allison Seebach, Caitlin Hensley, Gabrielle Harding and sophomore Clare Green also worked out with the team during camp on Monday.
“I’m looking for internal motivation and coming together as a team,” Sly said. “I want all of us to work together for each win. We have good numbers showing up to weightlifting in the mornings, and we’ve had consistent numbers for open gyms… We’re going to do a lot of things differently. Last year wasn’t what we expected and I’m hoping everybody is expecting a higher level of play this year.”