OKEECHOBEE — The Yearling Middle School Lady Bulls volleyball team beat the Gifford Lady Panthers in two sets on Oct. 15 here in Okeechobee.
Yearling won the first set 25-10 and second set 25-7. The win makes the Lady Bulls 9-2 for the year.
The Lady Bulls were in complete control through both sets. But in the second set the team really started to run away with the game, thanks to a couple commanding kills by eighth grader Isabella Veloz.
Yearling coach Kellyann Campbell praised ‘Izzy,’ as her teammates call her, for her performance.
“Izzy is a great asset to the team,” said Campbell. “She has played on our ‘A’ team since sixth grade. Great height, great ability and a great leader on the court. We love having her on the team, so it’s sad to see her go.”
The team also held a ceremony before the game to recognize the nine eighth graders who will be moving on to high school after this year.
The eighth graders leaving the team this year are Delaney Fuchswanz, Anaya Gomez, Rylee Neener, McKensie Phares, Aubrey Cook, Jillian Durfee, Penelope Van Eman, Isabella Veloz and Mamie McCoy.
The teams only two losses this year came from Osceola Middle School and Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School.
“I think we did well this year,” said Campbell of the Lady Bulls’ 2019 season. “Sometimes we got in our heads a little bit, we’d play not to lose instead of playing to win. So we had to work on that a little bit and get the girls to not be in their head. But other than that think we had a really great year.”
Almost all of the eighth graders were a part of the Lady Bulls team that went undefeated in 2017 and 17-1 in 2018. The Lady Bulls have compiled a record of 46-3 over the last three years combined. Campbell says there are multiple things that have gone into the consecutive successful seasons the Lady Bulls have had over the years.
“We have a camp every summer to get girls interested in the sport of volleyball itself,” explained Campbell. “We also try to keep as many girls on the team as we can, while keeping things manageable. So even if a player isn’t able to start, they’re at least getting practice from being on the team. We try to make sure the girls play on travel teams and in rec leagues during the offseason. That contributes to a lot of our success here at Yearling because the girls are so successful in those other leagues. I’m blessed with an amazing assistant coach, parents that support me and a great group of girls that come to this school.”
“It’s really helpful when your players want to be here and want to be at practice,” Campbell said in closing. “When I say there’s no practice on Friday, it’s devastating to them. They want it and want to be here.”
If you have a child in elementary school right now who might be interested in playing volleyball in middle school, be sure to keep an eye out on the next volleyball camp at YMS by following the official Lady Bulls volleyball page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/YMSVolleyballClinic/.