By Chris Parker
Pierce City volleyball has a new head coach in Amber Wilson this year. She was an assistant last year and has coached club volleyball since 2016.
“I have always wanted to coach volleyball and coaching in my home town was just an additional bonus,” Wilson said.
She takes over a program that finished last season with a 16-12-1 record.
Seniors Riley Gripka (setter/left side attacker), Claire Eaton (setter/right side attacker), Monic Trevino (defensive specialist) and Storie Lynn (libero) will be team leaders this year. Linn was named Honorable Mention All-Southwest Conference last year.
Hailey Gripka (junior middle attacker), Macy Fenske (junior DS/right side attacker), Jillian Mack (junior defensive specialist), Trinity Witt (junior left side attacker) and Madison Tindell (junior, middle attacker) also return for Pierce City.
“These are a few of my other returning varsity players. It is shocking how much they’ve grown since last season,” Wilson said.
Freshmen Ali Debes (defensive specialist), Jayci Fletcher (defensive specialist) and Ayla Renkoski (attacker) will look to impact the varsity lineup.
“My team hustles. I have been extremely blessed with a group of girls who work hard. If a ball is shanked, I can count on my team to not give up and to fight,” Wilson said.
Last year, Missouri switched to a best-of-five set format for matches. The change made good conditioning more important than ever.
“I learned that playing fie sets isn’t easy and for a team to work hard an entire game, they need to be in shape. Girls who play all the way around gets tired during intense competitions,” Wilson said. “We do conditioning daily rather than once or twice a week. I like to make conditioning last about 30 minutes to work on endurance. Since our first practice I have already seen a lot of improvement.”
Pierce City will open the season on Aug. 30 at home against East Newton.