Skyline Lady Thunderbirds volleyball is getting ready for another campaign under the leadership of head coach Summer Younie. Younie, beginning her 12th season as coach of the T-Birds, will be assisted by Natalie King who is in her 3rd season.
With about 21 girls on the roster, Skyline appears poised for another winning season. Although some key personnel were lost to graduation (Morgan Flowers, Ashley Koirth and Harley Weaver), there are several veterans returning off last year’s successful team.
The 2012 T-Birds won the Heart of the Plains league and the HOPL league tournament last year— the first time that had been accomplished in school history. In addition, the T-Birds won their sub-state and advanced to the state tournament before being eliminated in the first round.
Therefore, the 2013 squad has girls who have been successful and know how to win. Led by returning all-HOPL and 2nd team all-state senior Kaitlyn Stark, the Lady T-Birds have a nestful of experienced performers. Key returnees include Janessa Davis, Alyssa Swonger, Taylor DeWeese, Shelby Bender, Micah Owens and Taylor Tobin.
Jessica DeWeese and Kamryn Stark are among the promising newcomers that may be added to the mix. Foreign exchange student Sandy Lee from Taiwan (staying with Swongers) is out for the squad this year. She may be able to help out after she gets adjusted to American volleyball.
Teams that Younie thinks the T-Birds may have to get by in order to repeat as league champs are Norwich, who is traditionally strong, and Cunningham, whom Younie describes as much-improved.
“Our goals are to win league and our league tournament; have a winning record; and make it to state,” Younie mentioned. She added that the returnees from last year are aiming at getting past the first round of state this year, and making into the trophy rounds.
The T-Birds seem to understand that such lofty goals are not achieved without hard work. In practice, everyone is working to get on the same page, the older girls helping the less experienced ones. The Skyline volleyball team looks to be on the verge of another highly successful season.
“This is one of the nicest, most fun groups I’ve ever had,” Younie said. All indications seem to point toward the Skyline Thunderbirds volleyball team continuing their winning ways in 2013.