LEROY – Kassy Nelson has more than a year of varsity experience under her belt and one wouldn’t know by her performances that she’s only a sophomore.

But Nelson and her teammates continue to pursue their goals of having a strong finish as the regular season progresses into its final weeks.

“We’ve had ups and downs,” Nelson said. “I finally think we’re going on our up part and getting rid of the downs.”

Communication is the biggest challenge for the Bucks. Transition from offense to defense is something else the Bucks need to improve on, Nelson indicated.

She plays a lot of back row but sees some front row action. Passing has been her strongest part.

“On hitting, we’ve had our moments where we’ve done well this season,” Nelson said. “Our communication with our hitter and setter has been lacking lately.”

Nelson was on the varsity last season.

“We’ve improved in various aspects of the game,” Nelson said. “We’re not at our full potential whatsoever.”

“I think she’s improved a lot,” said Pine River coach Jana Dennis. “She’s changed positions from last year. She’s had to adjust to that, from libero to front row. She started at libero for us this year. She’s a different kind of leader and sees the floor from a hitter’s point of view and sees where her strengths are, plus the timing of her hits

“She’s made a good transition from libero to outside hitter.”

Michelle Kelsey, a junior has played volleyball since the seventh grade but this is her first season.

“I think we have grown a lot since the beginning of the season,” said Kelsey. “I think we are all finally learning about each other. We know how each other plays. We’re going to be the team to beat here pretty soon. It’s always a work in progress.”