There is still more than a month until fall sports get underway for local high schools but that does not mean the teams are not already preparing for the upcoming season.
Basehor-Linwood volleyball is no exception as the Bobcats competed in a summer league and wrapped up a three-day camp last week. The team traveled to Lincoln, Nebraska, to participate in the Huskers Volleyball Camp at the University of Nebraska.
These offseason habits aren’t new for the Bobcats.
“We always go to team camp in Nebraska in the summer and play summer league,” head coach Amy Irvin said. “Nebraska obviously has an amazingly strong volleyball program and we always learn so much while we’re there.”
Irvin said eight athletes made the trip and seven participated in the camp. Five of the seven players had to play all six rotations causing some fatigue. Despite that, the team took fifth place out of 22 teams and had two individuals recognized.
“I was so proud of them,” Irvin said. “Riley Tinder was awarded the MVP of the whole camp and Sadie McWilliams represented us during the radar gun competition in sixth place with a speed of 44 mph.”
The team played in a summer league earlier in the offseason against other area varsity teams and took first place with a record of 20-4. Irvin said the league consisted of 4A through 6A schools. Irvin said the offseason is important for the team to adjust and fill in holes due to departures.
“We always take the summer to get to know each other as a new team,” she said. “We lost two seniors last year with three or four years of varsity experience.”
Confidence is high for the Bobcats as they prepare to begin their second season in 5A. In their first season in 5A, the team went 19-19 but was able to win 10 straight matches in the middle of the season.
Irvin said the season went well but the team was outmatched when they faced a team with many Division I athletes in De Soto.
“We went to state in 2017 so expectations for last season were high,” Irvin said. “We knew going to 5A would be a challenge for us but we had a successful season as a whole.”
Irvin said she has a good core of players coming back as well as newcomers that she expects to fit in.
“This summer has definitely left me more excited for this season,” she said. “Returning everyone but two players that graduated, we know we have girls with experience, and girls that want to win and have fun together. This is a special group and the incoming group of freshmen is very talented. It will be a successful and exciting season for all.”
Basehor-Linwood is scheduled to begin its volleyball season on the road against Shawnee Mission South High School Sept. 5.