Pine River sophomores ready to help volleyball team

LEROY — Being a sophomore and getting moved up to the varsity level is always a major moment for a high school athlete.

The same holds true for sophomores Tailor Charles and Jenna Johnson of the Pine River volleyball squad.

Charles and Johnson played junior varsity last year.

“I feel pretty good about it,” Charles said. “It’s a big step forward. Things move a little faster. It helps more with your skills.”

Charles attended the Saginaw Valley camp during the summer with the Bucks. She’s expected to play libero for Pine River. She has confidence in her passing ability. She started as a libero last season and will see some serving. That’s an area Charles wants to focus on for putting it in the right spots.

Charles likes the way the team is blending together.

“We’re pretty familiar with everyone,” she said, indicating that hitting could be a team strength.

Charles realizes that past Pine River teams have had plenty of success.

“We want to follow in their footsteps and do it again,” she said.

Johnson will be playing back row for the Bucks.

“I’m kind of nervous because you don’t want to (mess) up,” he said. “But I’m also excited because you can play on a higher level.”

After tryouts, Johnson recalls that coach Jana Dennis took the sophomores off the side and asked if they would be interested in varsity.

“I kind of hesitated because I wanted to improve my skill on a lower level to get them down,” she said. “Everything is moving fast but you’re able to progress on the varsity.”

Johnson played setter on the JVs but is confident in her new role. She calls herself an “OK” server. She’s also getting familiar with her new teammates.

The team goal is a winning record, she added.