Alli Walker goes up for a kill in a practice for the Cerro Gordo Bement Volleyball team.
By BLAKE FAITH
The Cerro Gordo Bement Broncos are under new leadership as Dianna Durbin has taken over the reins. Durbin was very excited to get started this season.
“I think practice has gone really well,” Coach Durbin said. “We have eight seniors, so I feel like we’ve had great leadership and the girls have been working extremely hard. They’re hustling on the court. We are working on communication all the time and getting quick feet, so we’re ready for our season.”
Coach Durbin said that the biggest thing the Broncos have worked on in terms of improvement is getting feet off the net and ready to play and making sure that her team is moving with the ball no matter where it is at in-bounds on the court.
Coach Durbin is expecting Alli Walker, Skye Tieman, Haley Simpson, Jaden McCarty, Caroline Hill and Lexi Davis.
“Alli Walker is our outside hitter and she’s worked really hard in the offseason and put the time in and she’s doing a great job with her Skye Tieman our libero, she’s a player that hustles all over the floor. She talks, she helps get girls in the right places and she’s been an excellent leader all summer, very dedicated. She put the extra time in as well in the off season and it’s really showing in practice, she does not like the ball drop, she hustles. And then, we also have Haley Simpson, our setter, she will have a big impact. And then also, our middles, Jaden McCarty and Caroline Hill. So Caroline Hill is somebody that has not played for a couple years. So she came out as a senior this year, so I’m excited for her because she’s come, she’s come right in and stepped into the middle role and she’s getting on top of that ball and hitting it down as well. Lexi Davis brings energy and enthusiasm to the team and she hustles all over the floor and cheers on her teammates.”
Walker spent her summer working improving her vertical and her swing arm and came to as many open gyms as she could and encouraged the rest of the team to get in the gym and work this summer. Walker’s team goal is to have a winning season for the first time since her Freshman season and then individually wants to get more kills than last season and around 300. Walker wants her lasting mark to be breaking the record for kills in a game and kills in a season for the Broncos.
Tieman used her senior leadership role as a positive example for all the younger girls and made sure coming in, they’re working and having fun and finding a good balance between the two of those things. Tieman’s individual goal is to get to 1,000 career digs and then team goal is to have a winning effort. Tieman wants her lasting mark to be as a good teammate.
“I want my lasting impact to be a good teammate,” Tieman said. “I want people to remember me as someone who came in, worked hard and has someone that they can look up to to be like that.”
Coach Durbin has already seen her group demonstrate their closeness, leadership and willingness to push each other to become better.
“They are a close knit group of girls and I feel like when you are nice to each other, you work well together and that’s going to bring success because when you care about each other on and off the court,” Coach Durbin said. “You build each other up. That’s one thing that this summer these girls have done and practice has started. They push each other because they want what’s best for all of them. So I feel like we should see some success this season from their hardworking dedication and the close knit, family-like atmosphere that we have here at practice.”
Coach Durbin’s season expectations are to work their way to be at the top of the conference and once the conference tournament comes, win the conference championship.
Coach Durbin’s overall message to readers and the community is for people to come out and support the work that has been put in and get younger girls involved and excited to possibly join the program.
“I just want you to know that we have worked together to make each other better day in and day out,” Coach Durbin said. “We come to practice with positive attitudes and working together, seeing each other. Whenever you do those things, we’ll find success on the floor because we know each other, we work well together, we build each other up and it’s important to work together and have fun while you’re playing so that we can build the volleyball program. I hope people come out and watch us and that way we can continue to get younger girls involved and enjoy the game of volleyball. And this group of seniors definitely, um, has the ability and the great leadership and attitude to bring people into our game to afford us and I think it’s going to be a great season.”