BILLINGS – After letting her get acclimated to high school volleyball for a year, Billings Central is ready to unleash the beast that is Olivia Moten-Schell.
“We have high expectations for her,” said Central coach Kylie Reitz. “We’re expecting her to carry a bit more of the offensive load.”
Moten-Schell opened eyes last season, especially with a dominating run to the State A championship match, so it’s scary to think the now-sophomore was just scratching the surface.
“It was kind of nice last year when she did it, but not necessarily expected,” said Reitz of Moten-Schell’s offense. “We’re switching up where she’s playing a little bit – she’ll play a little bit on the outside in addition to the middle – so that’ll be a bit of an adjustment for her, but she’s certainly athletic enough to get away with it.”
The middle hitter couldn’t be happier with the added responsibility.
“I love outside, I’ve wanted to do it since eighth-grade year,” said Moten-Schell. “Outside, I can get more of an approach in, and I feel I can be bigger.”
That has coach Reitz grinning from ear to ear.
“I’m excited to see what teams come up with to stop her on the outside, because she’s been playing really well there,” Reitz said.
After a slow start at the Glendive tip-off tourney, Moten-Schell led the Rams to a Border Wars title this past weekend, with double-digit kills in three of their four matches, all sweeps. But she still is, at her core, a force in the middle, which co-blocker Sydney Hawbaker loves.
“She’s become a great help in the front row,” said Hawbaker. “I know we feed off each other really well. Her energy really helps me get going, and I know vice versa. When we’re both in the front row it’s very explosive.”
Central opens its home schedule Friday against Sidney.