CAMANCHE — For a first-year coach, Josh Davis could definitely fare worse. His Camanche volleyball squad returned the second-leading hitter and third-leading setter in the Big East Conference from last year, and overall, the Indians’ roster is filled with seemingly boundless senior leadership.
It makes trekking through the unfamiliar River Valley Conference territory easier (let alone juggling the adjustments of running a new team), especially when Davis’ top outside hitter, Libby Schnoor, already has nearly double the kills of the next closest conference player through seven matches. Achieving Camanche’s “high” expectations for the season — a conference title and a run at the state tournament — appears, on paper, more like “reasonable” expectations.
“You want to balance the long-term goals with the short term goals,” Davis said. “We’ve got good seniors and very vocal leadership.”
There are few surprises to be found with this squad. Senior Kylie Vogel runs the offense at setter coming off a junior season where she racked up 550 assists. Fellow seniors Julia Moore (middle hitter) and Brettan Hilgendorf (outside) are coming off 100-kill season totals last year, and Lindsey Grams returns as the team’s starting libero after totaling 154 digs in 2012.
All of the individual stats appear to be impressive, but the 2012 Indians finished below .500 at 11-18. But there are some very composed aspects about this year’s veteran Indians.
“I’d put Kylie Vogel’s hands up against anybody’s in the state,” Davis said. “We’ve got leapers like Libby and Julia, and we have high-energy players like Jordan Goldbeck and Morgan Peasley. And, thus far, we’ve had very consistent play out of some talented juniors.”
Davis was referring to 11th- graders Jordan Nissen, Kelsie French and Maddie Parker, who have each staked early roles in the top-heavy Camanche lineup. Nissen, thus far, is 44 of 45 serving; Parker has logged major points on the right side, and French is averaging 1.20 aces a set having mastered a powerful and accurate jump serve.