Orion volleyball builds on last season

Mindy Carls
Orion High School

In her initial season, coach Sydney Adams led the Orion volleyball team to an 11-7 record.

The IHSA moved the fall 2020 season to spring 2021 because of COVID-19. The girls not only had a shortened schedule, they had no postseason to look forward to.

Adams has a senior-led team this season. Returning letter winners include seniors Emmalyn Foster, Zoe Larkins and Ava Terry, all defensive specialists; Kasey Filler, outside hitter; Abby Watson, middle hitter; and Courtney Farwell, right side hitter.

Sophomore Rachel Bowers, outside hitter, is another returning letter winner.

New to varsity are juniors Ariel Nelson and Mary Mohr, defensive specialists; Madeline Nightingale, right side hitter; Mimi Carter, middle hitter, and Ella Sundberg and Jennie Abbott, setters; sophomore Emily Hickerson, middle hitter, and freshmen Avery Knupp, outside hitter, and Kennedy DeBaillie, defensive specialist.

Adams expects to start Filler at right side hitter, Watson and Carter as middle hitters, Bowers and Knupp as outside hitters, and Abbott and Sundberg as setters.

“We’ve been working really hard on improving our serve and serve receive,” the coach said. “Although we are young, we should be able to compete and stay competitive. We have strong outsides and our serve receive can be effective if we stay focused.”

In spring 2021, Orion had a 6-2 record for second place in the Three Rivers West division.

This fall, the conference is adding Monmouth-Roseville to replace Fulton.

“Our entire conference is very competitive,” Adams said. “Rockridge and Riverdale are always a big challenge for us. It will be nice to add Mon-Rose.

“I’m very excited for this season and hope to have normal season despite COVID,” she said.