Reed City volleyball coach reflects on past season

REED CITY — Second-place finishes in the Central State Activities Association (CSAA) and Class B districts were lower than what the Reed City girls volleyball team would have preferred this season

“Pretty much like every year, we improved all year long,” said Reed City coach Don Patterson. “A couple of kids had breakout kind of years. Overall, I thought our defense improved. Offensively we improved as the year went on. It was a pretty solid year.”

The Coyotes finished at 29-20-1. They were 8-1 in the CSAA with their only loss coming to perennial power Morley Stanwood.

“It’s a pretty tough conference and (going 8-1) is tough to do, really,” Patterson said. “At Mount Pleasant (tournament), we played really well against some quality teams there. We played well against St. Louis and Flushing. We played quite well in a lot of the tournaments. We played some tougher competition.”

The Coyotes graduated several key seniors with Kayla Davis, Karah Hensel, Jacolyn Mullins, Michaela Reed, Heather Tacey, Natalie Westhoff, Alaina Woodard and Brittani Yarger.

“They’re always tough to replace,” Patterson said of his seniors. “Part of what we try to do is maintain. It will be a different kind of team next year. But I think by the end of the year. We’ll still be pretty good. We won’t have the big middles like we did with Alaina and Michaela this year. We’ll be built a little different and will have to get it done a different way, which will be challenging and kind of interesting.”

Skiler Brigham and Alison Schemerhorn return to the varsity and there are six sophomores coming up from the JV team. Brigham and Schemerhorn “will have explanded roles,” Patterson said. “Alison had more action than Skiler, who had an ankle sprain which took a month from her, maybe more.  With as many seniors as we had, they didn’t take as big of a role as they might have in other years. Both of them will be big contributors next year and a bunch from the JV team, which improved dramatically.”