Quickly gaining the immediate enthusiasm of the girls at the high school level, one of Metcalf’s other priorities when she arrived was to create the opportunity for younger girls to get their start in the sport. With some of the top prep volleyball in the country being played in Indiana, particularly in the Muncie area, Metcalf knew that, in order to compete at the level she wanted, getting kids involved in the game as early as possible would be imperative. So far, it seems to be paying dividends.
“We continue to reload,” she said. “We have second graders playing travel ball throughout the winter. That’s the difference. Our girls — there’re only two or three girls on the varsity who aren’t playing travel ball in the offseason. That’s key. The thing is these kids want to be good. And you can’t be good if you don’t practice. … Our girls are excited about playing volleyball. They want to come out on the court and put the time in. Coach [Dave] Hausner is a volunteer who stays after with the girls a couple nights a week to hit. And, that’s after they’ve put in a two-and-a-half hour practice. We just have to keep that going.”
Maconaquah’s varsity squad has enjoyed a solid start to the 2013 season, winning 10 of its first 13 matches with a deep, diverse roster of players who feature multi-faceted skillsets. The Braves feature a lineup overflowing with veteran experience, as well, including 10 upperclassmen — five seniors and five juniors.
“We have high hopes for this year,” Metcalf said. “What’s nice is we play as a team. A lot of squads have a dominating player. We don’t necessarily have one dominating player. We have many dominating players. We are very aggressive in the front row and back row. To say this is a very good team — yes, our expectations are very high.”