McHenry County Scots hit high point as season draws to close
McHenry County College (MCC) coach Kyle McCall feels good about his volleyball team as the season winds down.
"I feel like through our practices and our efforts we’ve turned a corner,” McCall told the McHenry Times. “The last few weeks, we had a couple of big wins, and I think we’ve gotten to where we can go out and just play instead of having to think about things. The in-game reactions are becoming more natural, and a lot of our players have 100 percent bought in.”
At the time of publication, the Scots were 24-10 overall and 5-0 in conference play. MCC opened the year in late August with back-to-back wins over Illinois Valley Community College and Lake Land College. MCC’s first loss came against Mineral Area College, but the Scots bounced back and won eight of their next 10 games.
McCall said everyone on the team has performed well, but a number of players have stepped up at different points in the season. Two key players have been Kyla Fitzsimmons and Katie Mahoney.
“Kyla Fitzsimmons is a local kid from Jacobs High School who is having a really great year and was in the top 10 in kills in the country,” he said. “Her leadership has been felt throughout the team. Katie Mahoney is also from Jacobs High School but last year actually played Division I volleyball, and to have her choose to play with us at MCC is huge. She is No. 3 in kills in the country right now.”
MCC is sitting at the top of the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference. MCC beat second-place Waubonsee Community College in a five-set match.
The Scots regular season will wrap up in late October, and McCall said that while the team is performing well right now, there are still things to improve on.
“We work a ton on ball control and defense,” McCall said. “So we want to start working more on offense. Another thing we want to be aware of is our recovery time. We’ve played more matches than anybody in the country at 34 matches already. We want to make sure our players are as fresh as possible, both physically and mentally.”
McCall added that he sees the Scots hitting their stride at the right time.
“Everybody on the team has just really been trying to elevate the level of play, especially right now, going into the last third of the season,” he said.
MCC will face off against Butler Community College, Rock Valley and Rend Lake, and will also take part in the Parkland Tournament in Champaign. The conference tournament will get underway on Nov. 1, and the National Junior College Athletic Association National Tournament will kick off on Nov. 16.