Witbeck set to play key role for Evart volleyball

EVART —  Allyssa Witbeck enters her senior season as a key player for the Evart volleyball team.

Witbeck has been on the varsity two years.

“Last year it was a little rough, but we played good as a team,” Witbeck said. “I did improve a lot.”

Witbeck was an outside hitter. But this season, “I’m going to be a setter and outside hitter,” she said. “My JV year, I set.”

Her coach on the JV level was Katie Nostrant, who is making her varsity debut this season.

“I like setting, it comes easy,” Witbeck said. “Once you get to know the girls and how they want to hit it, (setting) becomes easier. You have to know who’s hitting and where they’re going to want it. Mostly, it depends on how hard they want to swing.”

It’s imperative, Witbeck noted, to remember which hitters are in the game. When they’re being switched in and out, the situation gets a little trickier for a setter, she added.

As an outside hitter, Witbeck is doing a lot of hitting and blocking.

“I hit it hard,” she said, adding that this season, she’s looking to hit the ball harder.

Nostrant was appointed to the position in August, and players have been trying to catch up while learning with the new coach, Witbeck said.

“We brought up some freshmen and sophomores,” she said, adding that with more numbers on the varsity, “it will help in not getting tired and there will be subs.

“For this team to have success, everybody has to work together,” Witbeck said. “If we work together, we’ll get it together.”

Witbeck worked on her track seasons during the summer and will continue on that in the winter.

Evart lost 2-0 to Baldwin in the Silver Bracket semifinals of the Crossroads Invitational Saturday. In pool play, Evart lost to Hesperia 18-21, 14-21 and CCA 8-21, 7-21. It split with Marion 21-17, 17-21.

“I think we definitely have improved since the last few times we have played in a tournament, especially from last year,” junior Danielle Conklin said. “We definitely need work, but we’re talking more and communicating more.”

Evart is home against Beal City.