Set it Off

Volleyball heads into season with renewed energy


Dani Strebel

The team huddles together to decide their next play against Collins. “The Collins game was really fun because of how close and intense it was,” senior Gracie Campbell said. “We went to five sets and won 15-13, so it was crazy. Also, they had a huge student section so the gym was loud which made it more fun. It felt great to win our first district game and I can’t wait to win more.”

‘Killing’ their opponents, the Varsity Volleyball Team is dominating districts and working towards the playoffs. They are currently having a winning season. This team is packed with talent and has a completely new coaching staff.

“I have enjoyed my first year at Oak and couldn’t have asked for a better group of kids to start out with,” head coach DaVette McCall said. “They all want to play for the school and want to make the program a success again. The girls have really bought into the program and continue to work hard every day to reach our program’s goal. We are really focusing on the mental game and analytical side of volleyball as well as growing leadership within the program which has helped turn the program around. #BringtheRain”

According to freshman Tori Leggiero, the hashtag is a reference to the change from previous seasons. Before they were in a drought, but now they are ready to bring the rain and win every game.

One of the new additions to the program is Leggiero. It has been three years since a freshman made the varsity team.

“I am very excited to be on varsity as a freshman,” Leggiero said. “Being on the team is nerve-wracking, but it’s really fun. Playing on varsity and in middle school is a completely different experience. High school volleyball is a much faster pace and requires a lot more skill. It’s an amazing opportunity and everyone has been so nice and helps me out a lot. Once I got a good kill at one of our games and they all came up and hugged me. That’s when I felt like I was part of the team. ”

Another change in the program is having a new libero. The libero’s job is to be the main defense and pass from the back row.

“I’ve been a varsity defensive specialist since sophomore year and have finally gotten the opportunity to be a libero,” senior Tatum Lockhardt said. “I hope to help lead the team to the playoffs because we have fallen short for the past three years. As libero and captain, I feel my role as a leader and have a greater expectation to perform. I’m so excited for this season and excited to see what the new coaching staff is going to bring to this team. ”

The team has four captains Lockhardt, Cate Singletary, senior Gracie Campbell, and senior Hannah Akala. It is their responsibility to lead the team on and off the court. 

“I’m really excited about being one of the captains this year with my close friends,” Campbell said. “It’s an amazing opportunity and an honor to be chosen as one, and I am really looking forward to leading my team this year. It’s a lot of pressure to be a captain, but it’s something I’ve been looking forward to for years.

Campbell has also made the varsity team all four years and is committed to Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, LA to play collegiate volleyball.

“It has been an amazing past three years on varsity and I feel that I have grown and improved so much,” Campbell said. “We haven’t had a very successful season in past years, but I have a really good feeling about this year and I know we’ll be successful. We’ve had some great games like the one against Collins. Those kinds of games are my favorite because I thrive in high-pressure situations and it pushes me. It is bittersweet that my high school volleyball experience is almost coming to an end, but I’m also excited to move on to the next chapter. It’ll be nice to advance in my sport and make new friends.”