Updated: Aug 17
The Red Barons Volleyball team had a spirited season this year. They ended their run with 4 wins and 15 losses, having won 16 sets and lost 45. But don’t let these simple numbers deceive you into devaluing the team. In the sets they lost, they scored an average of 17.8 points. Each match they played was down to the wire, and even juggernauts like Finger Lakes Community College were met with a hefty challenge when facing the Barons.
In his second season as head coach of the team, Jared Kucko is more interested in helping players learn lessons beyond volleyball. “At the end of the day, It’s about providing these girls with a good experience.” says Kucko, “If we can create that environment… the winning should come alongside it.” Kucko works alongside Maddy Taylor, the assistant coach and defensive coordinator. She takes the time to review footage from past games to give her insight into what her players need to improve on. “I know they don’t know we do that before practice,”, she says, “but a lot of work happens in the background to make sure there’s open communication there.”
Lily Callahan has been playing volleyball since 7th grade. She is a setter, a role that Sophomore Brianna Pratt had been taking on alone early in the season. She would often work in tandem with Pratt, with the two setting the ball up for each other. “It’s distinct,” Callahan says about the sport, “It’s not like your average [sport], like Football or Basketball, there’s a lot to it.” She is also a member of the softball team, causing her to double up on her training this fall. “The coaches are very lenient,” she says, “I have a lot of love for both sports and I always have… so I just have fun, and I like to be busy.” If you missed Callahan’s impressive performance in volleyball, you’ll be able to see her walk up to the plate this spring.
The sport of volleyball moves like a runaway train. The teams are forced to react to sudden shifts in the ball’s trajectory and their own priorities; executing a perfect attack only for it to be returned to them with equal force in the same moment. They are required to keep up this pace while moving with complete precision. Each time the libero, Lauren Weaver, dug in her heels to receive a split-second spike, it felt like she caught a bullet. These games were astounding and agonizing to behold. I found myself leaping from my seat and shouting at every little victory and defeat. I would encourage everyone to attend next season’s games to show support for our team.