Thereâs always been a buzz about which teams are good at Ames High, about which sports will make it all the way to state, and which ones will beat those rival teams. This year the buzz has turned into a roar as Ames High girlsâ volleyball team begins their season. The team began with the strengths of last season (where they made it all the way to the semifinals of state), starting off with an amazing second place ranking in the state. The teamâs line up hasnât changed much since last year, either. The varsity squad lost only one starting player, middle blocker Marissa Banks. Sophomore Taylor Sloter is stepping into the position, along with last yearâs other middle, Katie Marsden. âOne of the teamâs major strengths is our chemistry,â senior captain Amy Hamilton said. âWe all have a lot of experience together, and everyone knows what they have to do.â Hamilton is the teamâs setter for the third year, and is one of the teamâs captains, along with senior Mandy Winkleblack. The team works hard together at practices, getting focused quickly and continuing to improve. âWe donât focus on rankings, we come to practice ready to get better and play our hardest,â Marsden said. The team doesnât forget to have fun, though. âTo get pumped up before games we run around, scream, yell, pound lockers, and flash lights on and off and have a kind of âstrobe lightâ party,â Hamilton said. âWe do cheers and sing the national anthem in the lock room, too. It sounds pretty bad, but it pumps us up!â With only one of fourteen matches lost so far, the team is really showing their determination. âOur team decided on a few goals at the beginning of the season,â Hamilton said. âWe want to be in the championship round of every tournament weâre in, to stop all runs at two or three points, and to win state.â The goals seem to be going well for the team, too. One of the teamâs major improvements this year has been in tournament play. So far the team has come in first at the Ames Tournament and second at the Des Moines North tournament. âWe have a lot more focus this year, we know that the games are really important to our season.â Hamilton said. The teamâs most exciting moment so far this season? âWhen we beat Valley at one of our tournaments. That was pretty awesome.â Marsden said. âEveryone should come to our games, because theyâre exciting and weâre a good team to watch and we need more fans cheering us on!â With another match up against Valley Oct. 3 and only two home games left before regionals, everyone should get out and support the team!