Things are a bit different this year for the Huntley Project volleyball team.
Fresh off state title No. 13, head coach Iona Stookey is reloading with a roster featuring zero seniors.
“We just talked about taking baby steps. We’re just trying to get better each match, and honestly I don’t feel like we have an easy match all season," Stookey told MTN Sports. "We’ve just got to step up and do the little things right.”
That youth and inexperience has led to some growing pains early in the year, which included a loss to conference rival Joliet. Things seem to be coming together, though, as the Red Devils dispatched the J-Hawks in four sets last week.
“I think it just served more as a thing that we just need to be more confident in ourselves. We can play our game and we need to work hard no matter what," said junior setter Brynn Wandle.
It’s the first real taste of varsity action for several of the Red Devils, but more than that, it’s their first true experience of Stookey’s demand for competitive excellence.
“It’s a lot of work, but it pays off in the end. She just wants the best for us, so it works really well. She just pushes us to be the best we can be," Wandle said.
“You can’t take a play off, you can’t take a day off. You don’t want anyone to work harder than you. I just try to stay focused in that sense, and with the kids, too," Stookey said.
All signs are pointing towards Project making a run at No. 14