Reed City volleyball seniors set for banner season

volleyball: Jacolyn Mullins works on her game during a Reed City volleyball practice. (File photo)
volleyball: Jacolyn Mullins works on her game during a Reed City volleyball practice. (File photo)

REED CITY — Jacolyn Mullins and Karah Hensel are two Reed City volleyball seniors who had a chance to enjoy the Coyotes’ drive to the regional finals last fall.

Both would like to see their team do it again.

But it’s a long season and the Coyotes are still trying to get in the groove as they battle through the first few weeks of September.

Mullins is in her third varsity season and played a huge role, as an outside hitter, in Reed City’s 2012 success.

“We definitely gained confidence by the end of the season. I was very proud of our team making it to regional finals,” Mullins said. “We’re hoping to get back there again. We feel we have the same caliber team. We only lost two seniors. I feel we should be able to get there.

“The key will be passing, definitely, that’s a key point, and making sure we get our blocks and hits, and moving well as a team.”

Mullins will be an outside hitter again and is confident of improvement.

“I’ve been working on my vertical during the offseason at AAU and my passing, I feel, has improved since last year,” she said, adding that as a hitter, “I can be more consistent. I’m always trying to improve on my hitting, trying to make sure I jump high, all the way. high enough to hit the ball.”

Mullins is also confident the Coyotes can do well in the Central State Activities Association. They lost 25-18, 26-24 to league power Morley Stanwood at the Alma Invitational.

“I can’t wait to start conference games,” Mullins said. “It was neck and neck the whole game. One or two points and we would have had it. But the rest of the day we did pretty well.

“I think we’ll be at the caliber pretty soon of how we were at the regional finals last year.”

Hensel is in her second varsity season for volleyball.

“Last year I didn’t have as big of a role as this year,” she said. “I was right back defense.”

Hensel will be libero and middle back defense this season. It’s her first time at libero.

“You have to be everywhere and get as much touches as you can,” she said. “Last year, I didn’t serve receive. This year, I do. I’m working at serve receive to get better at that.”

Watching the ball closely all the way in is essential in serve receiving, Hensel noted. “I’m getting used to it,” she said. “It’s hard since I never did it before. There’s a lot to remember.”

The team has a chance to do well in the conference with Morley Stanwood and Chippewa Hills being the teams to beat.