Coach returns from time off the volleyball court


Flitz. Carissa Heinzman 11 participates in the butterfly drill which is designed to help players pass accurately. Coach Amy Knepley watches her players complete this task.

A new, but cherished face appeared when Amy Knepley returned from her time off of the court.

She is back and determined as ever to help make the girls volleyball team win the district game and to make the team even stronger than before. 

Motivating the players to improve their skills, drove Knepley from the first day she stepped foot on the gym floor for pre-season practice.

“I feel like we improve each time we step out on the court,” Knepley said. “I have asked for the team to push themselves and they have stepped up.” 

Knepley decided to come back when she was assisting the middle school volleyball team and realized how much she missed coaching and being around a team.

Junior Molly Nichols has been seeing the improvement from her 2018 to 2019 seasons. 

“We take practices and games a lot more seriously, and we put in a lot more time than we used to so it’s been showing out on the court,” she said. 

Nichols likes the types of drills that they do in practice, because it makes them better. 

“We have a drill called the U of M drill that focuses on the back row volleyball players which helps with our passing techniques,” she said. “Our coach makes us better because she knows when we need to take things seriously, and when we can have a laugh.”

Nichols has enjoyed having Knepley as a coach, and hopes she sticks with coaching varsity volleyball as she has been able to figure out Knepley’s coaching style. 

“It was challenging at first because having a new coach any year is hard, but after a little while, we all got used to it,” Nichols said.

“Having a new coach can be a challenge, especially for returning players. Different coaching styles and expectations can be hard, but I feel we have figured each other out,” Knepley said. She hopes that her impact on the team helps the girls’ confidence rise higher after every day they spend together as a team. The girls have already had the ability to pass very well on the court, and has used communication more this year to improve their team.

 “These girls have a lot of talent and my style coaching seems to work well with this team,” Knepley said. 

The girls have shown their dedication toward their team and direction by placing second out of nine teams at the Panther Invitational and then placing first at the Olivet Invitational.