PREVIEW: Coach inherits Eagle team that is eager to improve


     Kerrigan Riley has taken the reins of the Midland High School volleyball team this season, inheriting a team that seems willing and able to improve.

     “This year’s squad brings a lot of athletes who are willing to grow and get better, individual and as a team,” Riley said. “This group has been very coachable, making it evident they are willing to put in the extra time and effort to reach our goals this fall.”

     One of the goals is obvious; the Eagles were 3-27 last season, and would like to improve over that.

     “Some of our goals are more numbers-oriented, based on statistics from last year,” Riley said. “We also have set goals throughout the program, challenging the girls to step outside their comfort zone this season.”

     Midland has four returning letter-winners: senior Brennah Ricketts, and juniors Taylor Bahnsen, Ari Hacke and Ella Rupp.

     “We are young,” Riley said. “The tough part is that there is not a setter among our four returners. However, we have had girls in the gym this summer working hard on their setting, which has given us a few options on how we would want to run our offense.”

     The coach is also focusing on the team’s serving; the Eagles were sixth in the Tri-Rivers Conference East Division in aces with 133, and seventh in serve efficiency, at .845.

     “It is such an important part of the game, especially in those close matches,” Riley said. “Going back to basic fundamentals and creating that muscle memory for these girls will be really crucial for improving our statistics from last year.”

     Riley played volleyball for four years in the strong Springville program.

     “Going through that program was such an amazing experience that I am continuously grateful for. Those four years definitely helped shape the volleyball coach I am today,” she said.

     She went on to be assistant varsity and JV softball coach at Springville.

     At Midland, Riley will be assisted by Ryan Steines.


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