Posted: Thursday, 15 August 2013 4:30PM

Camdenton volleyball to lean heavily upon Gehner

Camdenton, Mo. (For  -- One year after going 15-13-2 overall and 5-4 in the Ozark Conference, second-year Camdenton head coach Austin Walker isn't sure exactly what she's got in 2013.

"We finished a little over .500 which was good for us," Walker said. "My first year, trying to implement my style of coaching and everything, we had some rough patches trying to get used to the transition and everything. But, I had a blast and the girls that I had as seniors were awsome.

"I really liked being around them."

Camdenton returns senior Hannah Gehner, a middle hitter. Gehner played in 61 of 64 possible matches last season and finished tied for third on the Lakers with 78 kills and second with 29 blocks.

"We are going to rely heavily on her," Walker said.

Camdenton will have three additional seniors, including Abby Moulder, a setter, Kailey Lembke, a hitter who can play on both the left and right side, and Morgan Laufer, a middle hitter.

Also in the varsity mix are juniors Josie and Paully Dinsdale, sophomore Hanna Lowther, juniors Kirstin Thompson and Schae VanderPloeg and freshman Daphne Dinsdale.

"This summer, the girls have done a lot better job of buying in and showing up to things and they know now what I expect after a year of them," Walker said. "If you want to play you have to prove to me that you want to be with us and this program. If you prove that you want to be there, then I'll give you the time."

Walker said the team doesn't have a lot of experience entering the upcoming season, and might be behind the eight-ball early on.

 "We play in the Ozark Conference, which I believe is one of the toughest conferences in the state," Walker said. "You have your Springfield schools, which play club volleyball during the summer and they are way ahead of us.

"We are playing catch-up and hoping by August we can get closer with each game by the end of the season and be rolling by districts."

A standout player at both Lebanon High School and Drury University, Walker (formerly Austin Warren) said she has been learning the ins and outs of being a high school head coach in the Ozark Conference on the job.

"I think building relationships with the kids is the most important thing that I've learned," Walker said. "The kids learn to trust me and know that I will be there for them and I will work my but off for them if they will do it in return for me.

"I think I get a lot more out of the girls. I've really had to adjust and learn that each kid learns differently. Not every kid is the same ... My first year of being a varsity coach was a learning experience and I didn't know exactly what to expect.

"But this year, I've got more of a grasp on things."


Photo Galleries

Pictures: Lasers vs Kastles

The Springfield Lasers hosted the Washington Kastles for the World Team Tennis title match.

Pictures: Best of 2013-14 Springfield Catholic Irish

Catch the best photos from the 2013-14 Irish athletic year.

Pictures: O-Zone Sports Jeopardy

The area's most knowledgeable sports fans faced off in the first annual O-Zone Sports Jeopardy at the Ozark Empire Fair.
O-Zone Opinion
Mohawk Chronicles: Oklahoma the right choice for Dorial Green-Beckham
Dorial Green-Beckham is now an Oklahoma Sooner. If you're scratching your head right now, you're not alone. Yes, DGB will have to sit out the entire 2014 season, something that he wouldn't have had to do had he transferred to a FCS or D-2, but is...
Read More
Mohawk Chronicles: Ozark Conference 7v7 Football recap
For the third summer in a row Kickapoo hosted the Ozark Conference 7v7 Tournament. Here is a recap from the 3rd annual event. The Champs are here For the first time in the 3-year history of the Ozark Conference 7-on-7 Tournament someone...
Read More
The future is now for local soccer
We’re graduating a great crop of senior soccer players this spring. Anywhere from 15-25 will not only contend for all-state honors once the season is over, but also keep playing in college next school year. So, who replaces some of those top...
Read More
Most Viewed