By Ray Conner
The Kern Valley varsity volleyball squad is ‘set’ to ‘dig’ into the season.
Second year head coach Sabine Mixon brings plenty of coaching experience back to the Lady Broncs. She has a total of 12 years spread out between middle school volleyball and the high school levels.
She will solo on the bench as she does not have any assistant coaches.
The Lady Broncs are made up of 13 athletes this season, with nine of those coming back to play this year. She has plenty of experience to make this year’s teams competitive.
Seniors on this year’s team include, Abby Achorn, Alyssa Servin, Bradlie Preston, Casiana Godinez, Destiny Chapparo, Kassy Opferman, and Krista Witten.
Juniors on the squad are Arian Hess, Alyson Bangert, Anne Keverline, Caitlyn Siratt, Lexi Baker, and Maya Wicker.
The returners are Achorn, Bangert, Chapparo, Godinez, Hess, Servin, Preston, Opfeman, and Witten.
Mixon’s goal as the coach this season is for her team to reach new levels of play and change things up a little.
She said, “It is my goal to guide the team to a higher level of play. We are going to increase the tempo of our play and execute several plays that we haven’t incorporated in the past.”
The goal for her players this season is to make them play team volleyball rather than individual players on the court. She said, “It is our goal to minimize the ‘ME’ mentality and replace it with the ‘WE’ mentality. We believe that if we play together for the betterment of the team, we will have a much better chance at the league title.”
When asked who were some of the key losses she answered that they lost only one player from last year’s team. She said, “Having only lost one player, Michaele Dietzel from last year’s team, we still have many members from last year’s team.”
Some of the potential key additions include Wicker, a junior from Burroughs High School.
In the non-league matches, Mixon wants her team to get plenty of work with the new changes she has made for this season.
She said, “We are aiming to practice the faster tempo, experiment with the 6-2 offense and perfect our 5-1.”
Turning to league play Mixon was clear in sharing she wants a league title, but when asked who the teams to beat in the HDL were she responded, “We want to beat all of them.”
The strength of her team is definitely the experience she returns and the amount of coaching experience she employs.
She said, “Our strength is that so many of our players have been together for three to four years. We know each other and have great relationships among the team members.”
On the flip side, the area that needs work for the Lady Broncs is passing.
She said, “We work on passing daily. We know that we cannot introduce tactically what we can’t execute technically, and every big play begins with a good pass.”
Asked for a closing statement, Mixon said, “We appreciate the support of our community and school so much. We ask that you continue to come out and support us as we strive to bring home a league title to Kern Valley. Please help us elevate the spirit in our gym by attending the games and cheering us on. Together we are one.”
This has the potential for a successful campaign on the court for the varsity volleyball squad. With plenty of experience both in players and coaching, the time could be ripe that this is the year the Lady Broncs ‘serve’ up a HDL championship.