Emily Newby said it was fun helping the Medora volleyball team post its best record in several seasons this fall.
In 2017, the Hornets finished with a record of 10-12.
“On the court we’re friends and off the court we’re friends, and I think that helps,” Newby said. “Knowing your teammates on a personal level. You play with them so long, and you create a bond with each-other. I think we all worked a lot harder this year. We pushed ourselves even harder and we seniors really wanted to go out on top.
“Just being friends, that helps us in so many ways because if one person shanks a ball and we get down they’re like ‘c’mon, pick yourself up. You’re going to get the next one.’ Working like that together really helps with our team skills.”
Newby said teamwork and communication were important for the Hornets.
“We played with three passers so if the other two passes see it is going to someone else than we would say ‘it’s coming to you,’ or we would say ‘it’s going deep.’ We would read it and say ‘it’s you,’ and then we got ready to either set it, pass it or hit it to get it over to get the point,” she said.
“What we learned in practice and what we did in practice really helped on the court. One day we would just do defense and the next day our defense was perfect. We got every dig. It was good. Practice makes a big difference in the way you play.”
The senior started playing volleyball in sixth grade in Medora. She played front row throughout her career, and played all-around her junior year.
This year she had an ankle injury at the beginning of the season, and was unable to play the first part of the schedule.
“Usually I was a front row player because I played middle,” Newby said. “I blocked all the way across the net. Last year we had enough for both (JV and varsity), so I played all way around, which was new to me, but it was like being in the front row, kind of. I still got to hit.”
Newby said the Hornets changed their blocking pattern depending on the opponent.
“We would double block depending on the school. Blocking is about your timing,” she said. “When they start to swing for the ball you want to jump and that’s about the time the ball will bounce off your hands back on their side. You wanted to go straight up. You wanted the ball to bounce off the palm of your hands.”
“A lot of the time I had to ‘rainbow’ it over so I wouldn’t get blocked.”
Newby said she felt more pressure playing at home than she did on the road.
“(The home matches) were kind of nerve-wracking because all your classmates are here and ‘I don’t want to screw up,’” Newby said. “If you try too hard then you make little mistakes and ‘I knew that. Why did I do that?’
“I like the away matches and the bus rides. Some of them were so far away. It seemed like the bus rides just kept getting longer and longer.
“I think our biggest win was beating Borden for the first time. It was on senior night so it made us feel even better.”
She has attended Medora schools since kindergarten.
“We say ‘I remember going to preschool with you and now we’re seniors,’ Newby said. “I like how it is a small school and everyone I played with, I knew. It was just fun to be able to go to school with girls I played with.”
[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Newby file” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]
Name: Emily Newby
School: Medora High School
Parents: Rebecca Eisenmenger, Charles Newby
Sports: volleyball 4 years
Organizations: Beta Club, Letter ‘M’ Club
Plans after high school: attend college
Favorite food: pizza
Favorite TV show: Nashville
Favorite movie: The Longest Ride