Hensel will play key role for Reed City

REED CITY — Kalee Hensel was active on the varsity level her sophomore season at Reed City as a volleyball, basketball and softball player.

It’s fall, it’s volleyball season, and here she goes again.

Hensel, as a junior, is getting set for her second varsity volleyball campaign with the Coyotes.

“It went pretty good,” Hensel said of the 2010 season. “We went almost to the district finals. We lost in the semifinals. I think we’ll do good this year.”

On the varsity as a sophomore, “it was intimidating at first with all the big hitters,” Hensel said. “But after I got used to it, it was good.”

Hensel admits that being involved in three sports, it was a busy summer.

“Over the summer, I went to everything I could,” she said. “During basketball and softball, I couldn’t get to much.”

For volleyball, Hensel will be an outsider hitter.

“I feel I’ve improved quite a bit with my jumping,” she said. “I worked on that during strength and conditioning class. Hopefully, I’ll do better than last year, I can get the ball down (more).”

Hensel said she’s working on various skills.

“I’m working on my digging,” she said. “I play backrow and left side.”

Meanwhile, Reed City’s volleyball team will test its skills on Saturday in the season opener at the Alma Invitational.

“Normally we go to Chippewa Hills,” said Reed City coach Don Patterson. “We’ll see a little better competition. We’ll see Cadillac, Alma and Morley Stanwood. It will be a busy week.”

Patterson said there are 11 players on the freshman team, 11 on the JVs and nine or 10 on varsity. Last Saturday, Reed City scrimmaged with Crossroads and Pine River. They scrimmage Thursday at Cadillac.

Players back from last season include Sami Michell at setter and Emma Lockhart at outside hitter.

Michell “will do a little bit of everything,” Patterson said. “She’ll do a little bit of hitting. We’ll stretch some of the skills she has and we’ll find other ways to use her athleticism.”

Also back are senior Jordyn Mason and Hensel, a junior.

“We’ll be pretty young,” Patterson said. “We’ll have one senior, four juniors and four sophomores. We’ll be young but the juniors, three of them, had experience last year. It will be an interesting year for us.”

RC graduated Kelsey Jones and Megan Oehrli from last season’s team.

“I think by the end of the year we’ll be pretty good again,” Patterson said.

“We’re looking very well,” Hensel agreed. “We have two sophomores that will step it up. We’re going to do good.”

In the Central State Activities Association, Hensel expects Chippewa Hills and Morley Stanwood to do well.

“We have to work together as a team,” Hensel said “We have to be very scrappy.”