2023 Medora girls volleyball preview

Hanna Hinderlider has taken over the coaching of the Medora volleyball team, but she is not new to the program.

“I know the girls pretty well,” she said and added that she coached the Hornets a few matches each of the last two seasons when the previous coaches were unable to be at those matches.

One of the seniors, Laykin Hinderlider, is Hanna’s niece. She is a four-year player.

The other two seniors are four-year starter Jenna Bowers and Aaralyn Hackney, who played volleyball her freshman season but sat out the past two seasons.

The coach said, “Those three, especially Jenna and Laykin, hold the team up to high standards, and they do pretty good at running the floor and knowing what to do. Aaralyn is going to be our libero this year. She is going to be the person to run the back row. She is a good server and a real good passer, so we’re looking forward to having her as our back row defensive specialist.”

Hinderlider said she is looking for strong play from Bowers.

“Jenna will be our main hitter. She’s good,” she said.

The coach said she also is counting on junior Brelee Underwood.

“She also does a lot of blocking, so she’ll be one of our main blockers,” she said. “We have Lillian (Hatchett), who is a good asset coming in as a freshman. She is going to be one of our hitters, as well. I feel like we have good, strong hitters, and Laykin is our setter and she has been setting since she was a freshman. She knows where Jenna and Brelee like their sets.”

Other juniors are Peyton Spence and Haylee Sons, and the sophomores are Madison Reece and Isabelle Reece. This is Spence’s first year playing volleyball, and Hinderlider said she played basketball last year, so she knows the girls from that.

The coach said she has been encouraged by the communication and teamwork the girls have shown at practice.

“Most of all, these girls have played together the last two, three years,” Hinderlider said. “They all do well together. I’m super excited to have them all together. I think we’ve got a really good season ahead of us. I think our strength this year is going to be our hitters. All three hitters are really good, and (Hatchett) also plays club volleyball, so that helps a lot.

“With the back row having Aaralyn as our libero, I think that is going to help out a lot, too. She’s pretty excited to be taking on that role. I think she’ll help out a lot with the passing and the digs.”

She said summer workouts helped a lot.

“We came in all summer, two days a week, and the first thing we worked on was basic passing and stuff, and I did communication drills with them. Another thing we’ve been working on is covering our blockers and our hitters,” she said. “I felt like last year when I filled in for the coach and watched the games, that seemed to be one of the issues, too, so we’ve been working on that, so we’ve been trying to tie that all in together.”

The Hornets will play a varsity-only schedule and will open tonight at Christian Academy of Madison, beginning at 6 p.m.

Medora’s home opener will be Friday against Shawe Memorial.

The Hornets are in the Southern Roads Conference again and will play the conference tournament at Bloomington Lighthouse.