McHenry County College volleyball team shooting for another strong year
Last season will be hard to top for the McHenry County College volleyball program.
Facts from the school's website tell the tale: The Scots rang up a 39-9 record and the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Region IV B title, and the stellar season culminated in a berth at the National Junior College Athletics Association National Championships in Phoenix and a No. 10 ranking in the country.
“I think it kind of kick-started the whole volleyball program at MCC,” Scots head coach Kyle McCall said in an interview with the McHenry Times. “We had made some really positive strides the last coup of years.”
McCall was well-honored for the 2015 season, being named the ISCC Region IV B Volleyball Coach of the Year and the ISCC Female Sports Coach of the Year.
Now comes the 2016 season, which will feature two key members of last year's squad and several new faces.
Sophomore middle blocker Kayli Trausch ranked 54th nationally last season with 40 solo blocks and also had 25 block assists, according to njcaa.org. She also had 128 kills. Also back is sophomore libero Sarah Adams, who had 192 digs and 24 service aces.
“I think both of our returning kids are going to do great things for us,” McCall said. “Kayli and Sarah are both going to carry a pretty big load, Sarah with ball control and Kayli with blocking and attacking.”
Trausch and Adams will be joined by seven recruits, a class that McCall described as pretty large.
Among the new faces is Kyla Fitzsimmons, from Jacobs High School and the Sky High Volleyball program, who McCall thinks is going to be a great contributor this year. Nicole Johnson from Marengo High School also has a good opportunity to contribute, McCall said, while outside hitter Sommer Rhea should help offensively.
A pair of setters is also in the recruiting class: Payton Traff of Macon East Academy in Alabama, where she won two state championships, and Amanda Sagen of Oregon High School in Wisconsin. Rounding out the new team members is Anna Schupbach of Princeville High School and McKenna Miller, who attended Prairie Ridge High School but played volleyball for Sky High.
“We're super happy with our recruiting class, and we really think the girls are really starting to get to know each other as we've had our first week of practice here,” McCall said. “Things are starting to come together.”
McCall said this year's edition of the Scots will be physically bigger than the 2015 team, which will help in the ISCC and Region IV.
Looking ahead, McCall said he thinks Sauk Valley, which went 33-10 last season and was second to MCC in the region standings, should be good again. Waubonsee, which was second to MCC in the ISCC in 2015, also stands to be strong competition. However, McCall said that it can be hard to predict the season at the junior college level because things change so fast that things can turn around in a year.
“We're looking forward to a really successful year again,” McCall said.
MCC opens the regular season in the Kankakee Tournament on Aug. 26. The first home match is at 6 p.m. Aug. 30 against Lake County.
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