2022 Fall Preview: Glendale Volleyball


By Chris Parker

Glendale volleyball took a big step forward last year by winning 14 matches, which was the most since 2016 when the Lady Falcons won 17 matches.

“I feel like our team worked so hard in the off-season and in the summer to push to get better. They were very eager and had the drive to want to be better as a team and program,” Glendale head coach Iceley Stieb said. “They have so much drive and dedication to the sport and they want to see our program be successful. By them working so hard in the off-season it will be a key component to helping us be so successful this year. To keep our momentum going, we need to continue to build on our success from last year and just continue to work hard on and off the court. We need to continue to grow as a team and continue to develop on our skills. We also need to come to each game prepared and ready to play.”

The Lady Falcons return their lone first-team all-conference selection in Tatum Kuntz this year. The libero led Glendale in digs (612) and serve receptions (509) last year.

“Tatum is such a great defensive player and is extremely consistent. She works hard to get as many touches as she can and is a great leader on the court for us. Tatum is very scrappy and works hard to get a great pass for us on every ball. Tatum does an exceptional job reading the hitter and getting in a good position to get a good pass for us every time. The energy she brings to the floor helps our team be successful,” Stieb said. “I look for Tatum to step into a captain’s role for us this year. Her varsity experience will help her lead her team and be an overall huge asset for us on the court. She will essentially start our offense with a pass every play and having her pass as much as she can is key for us to be successful. I expect for Tatum to help lead our team this season.”

Seniors Sofia Blasingim, Bailey Tittsworth and Jaclyn Moreno along with juniors Lyla Flinn, Libby Allen, Avery Kinney and Kaitlyn Brady fill out an experienced returning core for Glendale.

Blasingim is an outside hitter who played in all 98 sets last year with 92 kills.

“Sofia will be a big hitter for us this season,” Stieb said. “Sofia provides us with a solid swing from any position and is extremely versatile on the front row. Sofia has a very fast arm swing and will provide us a good swing on the outside.”

Tittsworth, a setter and defensive specialist, led Glendale with 383 assists last year and was third on the team in digs with 248.

CLICK HERE FOR LINKS TO ALL OF OUR FALL PREVIEWS

“Bailey is another solid player that will provide us with a consistent effort as a setter and passer,” Stieb said. “Bailey will provide a good set for our hitters and be able to help run an effective offense this year. Bailey also will be able to play solid defense for us.”

Moreno will return as a defensive specialist after finishing third on the team with 298 serve receptions and 203 digs.

“Jaclyn will be a huge strength for our team this year on the defense side of things,” Stieb said. “Her defensive and passing skills have improved from last year and she will provide a solid pass for us to run an effective offense. Jaclyn is a very scrappy and fast player and strives to pass every ball well.”

Flinn will see an expanded role at middle hitter this year after playing in 39 sets last year.

“Lyla is a strong middle hitter for us and she will be our go to hitter,” Stieb said. “She will provide a strong hit for us and sets up a solid block. She is a great offensive option for us on every touch. Lyla works hard to provide a solid and strong hit every time she swings the ball. Lyla brings such a good energy to the court and is a very big competitor.”

Libby Allen will also be a middle hitter in her junior year.

“Libby is a huge presence for us on the court with her height and her skill,” Stieb said. “Libby will provide a very strong hit and block for us and be one of our strongest hitters. We look to her to be a big key for us in offense and defense this year. Libby is a hard worker that will provide some big swings for us this season that will be key to our success.”

Kinney will split duties as a setter and right side hitter. She had 104 kills last year.

“Avery will be a very strong and powerful hitting option for us this season,” Stieb said. “Avery can place the ball very well and hit around her block, providing a solid kill. Avery will make a huge offensive impact on the court for us as a hitter and setter. Avery will also step into a setting role for us this season. Her knowledge and experience really help her run a solid offense for our team. Her drive to want to win will be beneficial to our teams’ success.”

Kaitlyn Brady will be a versatile offensive weapon hitting from the outside, middle and right side.

“Kaitlyn will be a key player in our offense this season,” Stieb said. “Kaitlyn is coming in strong and eager to play. Kaitlyn is a very smart player and is always looking for ways to better herself and the team. Her leadership skills and heart will be a huge asset and will help carry the team this year. She will also bring a positive attitude and uplifting personality.”

DOWNLOAD THE O-ZONE APP NOW!
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD FOR APPLE
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD FOR ANDROID

Allison Johns (senior outside/right side hitter), Emma Hawkins (sophomore setter/right side hitter), Aryah Moore (junior defensive specialist), Lydia Schildknecht (junior defensive specialist), Ella Ecker (junior outside hitter) and Amari Isaia (junior setter) will be newcomers to watch.

Stieb on Johns: “Allison is a very strong hitter and can provide us with a solid swing when set. We look to her to provide an aggressive hit to get the team a kill. Allison is great at adjusting her offense to provide a different hit to the other team every time. Allison also brings a huge energy to the court that will help our team stay loud and positive.”

Stieb on Hawkins: “Emma is a young upcoming player that will be a big asset to us this season. Emma will play right side and provide a solid hit for us on every ball. Emma is a strong presence on the court and works hard to make herself and the team better. Emma will also get some touches as a setter this season as well. Emma has incredible knowledge on the court and can run and effective offense.”

Stieb on Moore: “Aryah is one of our more versatile players. Aryah will be playing some back row for us this season. She provides a strong defense and is incredibly fast and scrappy. Aryah does a great job providing a solid pass for us to run a solid offense. Her defensive and passing skills have improved from last year and she will provide a solid pass for us to run an effective offense.”

Stieb on Schildknecht: “Lydia is a solid defensive player that will provide an excellent pass and dig for us this season. Lydia is a very scrappy player and strives to pass every ball.”

Stieb on Ecker: “Ella is a very strong and hard-hitting outside hitter. She can take a solid swing on every ball and provide us with such an awesome kill. Ella is struggling with a hip injury and we hope to have her back at some point this season.”

Stieb on Isaia: “Amari is such a good leader and teammate on and off the court. Amari does a great job leading her team and running an effective offense. Amari is coming back from a shoulder injury and we hope to have her back at some point this season.”

The players mentioned above feature 13 upperclassmen, which will be a significant strength for Glendale volleyball this year.

“I think our biggest strength this season would be experience. We have a lot of girls coming back this season with a tremendous amount of experience at the varsity level,” Stieb said. “These girls will provide us with confidence and the knowledge to play. We have a lot of depth in our program this year and several players that are extremely versatile. This will help us have a solid lineup every game. This team will be ready to step on the court every game and be ready to play.”

Glendale will host Branson and West Plains for a jamboree on Aug. 23. The Lady Falcons open the regular season on Sept. 1 at home against Rogersville.

“The team has put a lot of hard work in during the off-season to prepare for this upcoming season,” Stieb said. “We are hoping that their hard work and determination will continue and help us to be successful this season. We look forward to being competitive and battling in every game and throughout the season. We will fight hard in each game and with our determination we are excited to earn more wins and be successful.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *