Hard work and dedication is helping the Broncs senior girls’ volleyball team improve with each passing week.
Having lost only one game this regular season, the team is looking at two tough opponents, says coach Joely Hanke. The team played the Central Alberta Christian High School (CACHS) Knights Oct. 16 and won 3-0 in sets.
“I felt that our entire team was consistent,” said Hanke.
Her athletes played with confidence and consistency, which is a result of a rigorous practice routine.
The Broncs have lost only to the Lacombe Rams and will face Sylvan Lake, another tough team, Oct. 29 in Sylvan Lake. Rather than focus on future games though, Hanke and assistant coach Tammy Emes are working on “consistency in our offensive plays.”
The team has found a strong unity with four returning senior players and upcoming volleyball players from last year’s junior varsity team, she added. Because of this the senior girls are strong leaders and role models for the younger players.
“We’ve kind of found the right puzzle piece…They feel like they’re one big family,” said Hanke.
The head coach and Emes have known each other for many years, which has strengthened their coaching. “Since we go way back we’re a very good collective front.”
Their work appears to be paying off; playing against the Knights, the Broncs were attentive, active and responded well to each other. Hanke says they owned the net and that attitude stays wherever the team plays. There is a benefit to the unity, as the team will have no home games this season. The Ponoka Secondary Campus gym is in full remodeling.
“They know that this is something they have to deal with and it hasn’t been a drawback at all,” stated Hanke.
She stresses the need for the team to harness their energy at every game they play and treat each competition as if they were playing at home.
“That’s what we talk about before each game…And the girls do,” she added.
The team practices two or three times a week, each time Hanke focuses on working harder and getting better. “We see the results in our game.”
Despite not being able to play at home, Hanke says parents and fans have been a big support. She feels there were more Ponoka fans at the game against the Knights than there were Knights supporters.