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Chieftain Times

The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

Volleyball team adjusts to new dynamic, sets big goals

Junior Gabi Tederman hits the ball during the DC West game. Tederman had 207 kills on the season coming into October. (Jade Lewis)

Change is the only constant in life, and this holds true for the volleyball team as they begin their 2023 season. After losing three starters, the team is once again rebuilding from the ground up. Even though the team is rebuilding, however, the process is going well, and team chemistry is higher than ever. 

“I feel like even this summer we saw just moments of joy playing together and … [the girls] being a team unit. It just seems like they have fun at practice, and that maybe has been missing in the past,” head coach Jodi Bierman said. “It just seems like it’s really good chemistry [even though] we have new faces and all of those things.”

The players are noticing the new dynamic, both on and off the court. 

“It’s definitely a big change from last year in a good way. We play together way better. We move as a unit when we play,” said senior captain Maura Tichota, who stepped into a leadership role this year. “We rely on our teammates to… [play] their role and be a part of the team. We also have great communication on the court.”

Junior hitter Gabi Tederman also sees the change in dynamic and atmosphere in the team due to the respect players have for each other.

“I think we’re a really well-rounded team, and we all see each other as equals, which is how it should be,” Tederman said. “Everyone brings something to the team, and it’s really easy to see that.”

While the dynamic is positive, the team is still making adjustments such as switching positions. Through the summer, they worked with new rotations and new people at team camps and open gyms.

“Emmy (Tederman) is now the libero, and we had Bella (Tederman) move to right side, which was really good for our team,” Tichota said. “We added another great passer into the mix, and now we run a few girls out of the middle where Mylee (Tichota) used to be.”

 Sophomore Mylee Tichota, who used to be a middle, now starts as an outside hitter opposite Gabi Tederman, which is an adjustment from last year. 

Senior Maura Tichota serves the ball during the DC West game. Tichota has 34 aces on the season coming into October. (Jade Lewis)

“Having Mylee as an outside instead of a middle this year has definitely been a necessary and beneficial change,” Tederman said. “It feels much more consistent on the court.”

Aside from adjusting to new positions and new people, the team will face challenges within their schedule, and not just because of who they’re playing.

“One of the big challenges that we will face this year is having so many away games,” Tichota said. “The support of the fans means a lot. Having a student section really impacts the energy on the court and makes the games more fun, so not having that for the majority of the season is a bummer.”

Even though there will be challenges, the team has big goals for the season, including developing their team atmosphere and qualifying for state. 

“When I look at the near term, winning the games we should win but also getting to the conference final and winning would be really great. And I know we have a difficult sub-district, but getting to a district final [is the goal],” Bierman said. “I think that this is a really strong team and that we have more than a fighting chance to get down to state. Ultimately, that’s the big goal—getting down to the state tournament.”

With a record of 18-2 coming into October, the girls are ready to take on the rest of the season. It’s only the beginning for this team, and the players are hungry to compete alongside each other.

“I’m super excited to see where we’ll go,” Tederman said. “I think you can say that most teams have a lot of potential, and that definitely applies to us, but at that point, it’s what you choose to do with the potential. I think we’re a team that will put in the work.”

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About the Contributors
Bella Tederman, Senior writer
Bella Tederman is a senior in her fourth year of journalism.  She enjoys writing stories and taking pictures. Outside journalism, Bella is involved in volleyball, CrossFit, powerlifting, track, speech, FBLA, FCA and NHS.
Jade Lewis, Junior writer
Jade Lewis is a junior and is in her second year of journalism.  She enjoys writing stories and taking photos. Outside journalism, Jade is involved in NHS,  basketball, and lifting at Saunders County Medical Center.
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