LOGAN — Currently the Logan-Magnolia High School volleyball team sits at 10-3, as of September 15, under the leadership of Co-Head Coaches Jill Kiger and Bailey Krueger.
While Kiger is new to the volleyball program, she also serves as the Elementary School principal, Krueger is now is her third year of coaching the Lady Panthers. (She assisted Faith Bruck, who stepped down this year due to the arrival of a new child.)
“This team has a lot of potential led by the six seniors,” said Kiger of coming in and her first impressions of the team. “They have strong skills, hustle and passion for the game.”
Both Kiger and Krueger have been around the volleyball scene for a long time.
Kiger played in high school and one year of college.
She has also played on women's competitive teams and co-ed teams.
“Previously, I coached volleyball eight years, four as a head coach,” Kiger also said of her previous experience.
Krueger played volleyball in high school, too, as well as club volleyball, and with that, brings her own set of skills and experience to the "table."
The team is large this year with more than 30 girls, and half of them are freshman.
Our gym has been absolutely full of energy, said Krueger about her impressions of the team so far this year.
And we have seen a lot of coachable players pushing themselves daily to improve their game, Bailey added.
“We’ve also seen a really competitive edge in a lot of the team, which makes us really excited moving forward,” she said.
Kiger believes the progress so far, including where their record stands, can be contributed to the team’s increase speed of play.
The focus is on creating and maintaining a solid back row defense and running a quick, dynamic offense.
“Our service has also risen in terms of intensity and reliability,” Kiger commented.
Seniors Hailey Orr, Emme Lake, Ashley Christians, Emilie Thompson, Courtney Ohl and Ashlyn Doiel lead the team and are key to their success, says Kiger.
Several have discovered the rewarding aspects of leadership, especially when it comes to modeling those intangible qualities, Kiger continued.
Given these uncertain times, the team has had several discussions about the hard realities of the season.
“Our seniors have taken those talks in stride and are determined to dedicate their season to each other and to the love of the game,” said Kiger.
One piece of taking on a leadership role is achieving goals.
Each team member has created individual goals with specific targets and the team goals include approaching every match with a winning mindset and communicating.
Another general goal the Lady Panthers have is to always be improving themselves.
More specifically, an area where the team would like to do better is blocking, so they can compete consistently at a higher level, said Kiger.
“We are beginning to hit harder and as that improves, we will be able to battle with the top teams,” she added.
Apart from all these goals, Kiger and Krueger also want the ladies to learn important life skills along the way.
They are doing that through their vision for the team by breaking it down into three ideas: trust, work ethic and pride.
The hope is that these student-athletes trust their teammates, the process and ultimately their own ideas, Krueger explained.
The pair also wants the ladies to practice and promote work ethic, not only on the court but also in all areas of their daily life.
“And finally, we hope students have pride in the accomplishments of their teammates and that they represent their school proudly,” said Krueger.
Utilizing each of their skill sets, Kiger and Krueger are hoping to accomplish these goals and have a great season.
Kiger said with her head coaching experience, she is “taking the lead” on the behind-the-scenes tasks while Krueger focuses on the day-to-day components of the season.