Esiline, Nelson bidding to help Pine River be title contender

LEROY — Paige Esiline and Kassy Nelson are two key Pine River volleyball players hoping to get the Bucks ready for the critical part of the 2013 season.

Esiline, a senior, has been playing middle-hitter and has been a passer. Her role has increased for the Bucks this season.

“I’m getting better at hitting spots a lot more than last year,” she said. “I can always be better. It’s definitely better than last year.”

Hitting is the favorite part of her game.

“I’ve been working at hitting different spots,” Esiline said.

The team has been working together effectively in recent action, she indicated.

Nelson, a hitter, in her junior year said the season has had its ups and downs so far. The Bucks’ winning success at a Benzie Central tournament has been among the highlights she noted.

“That was exciting for us. We all worked well together,” said Esiline, agreeing with Nelson. “Communication was good that day.”

But when things are on the downside, “we’re not doing anything. We’re not communicating we’re not serving,” Nelson said. “The setter-hitter communication is not there.”

When Nelson was a freshman on the varsity, she played libero.

“I think it’s a lot better (this year),” she said. “I’m more consistent. I’m having more control on my hits.”

Nelson hopes to improve on covering and other areas.

Nelson is hoping the Bucks finish strong in the regular season and will have a strong postseason. Against a powerhouse team like Beal City, “we have to communicate,” Nelson said. “and do what we do best, and that’s talk to each other and not get down on ourselves.”

Since Aug. 16 when practices started, the team “has improved a lot, that’s for sure,” Nelson said.