Volleyball Has a Ball on the Court

In most people’s minds, fall is football season. Tailgating in the ever-cooling parking lot, running the flag, and decorated overalls at every turn are the Friday night norm. For one group of Ames girls, however, touchdowns are the furthest thing from their minds. These girls are the Ames High volleyball team. Voted as fifth in the state to start the season, the Little Cyclones have practice every day for two to three hours. If one subscribes to the idea that “practice makes perfect,” the team should be close. Enduring hours of jumping, diving, and hitting can be tough on a body, but seeing it translate to statewide recognition is worth it. For some, this recognition is particularly unwonted. Freshman Emilee Brammer came to the program with no particular expectations. “At first it was kind of scary because they’re all so much older,” admitted Brammer, “but then they really helped me and taught me a lot. I don’t think I would’ve been able to make the team if it weren’t for their help throughout the summer.” Clearly, all the encouragement was worth it; Brammer is now starting middle for the team in her first season playing a sport at Ames. On the opposite end of the spectrum, senior Claire Rogers is well accustomed to how things work around the program. This year, however, she’s seeing a different side of things. “As an underclassmen you’re sort of just there to follow, and suck up to the older kids… As an upperclassman you need to make it fun for the younger kids, make them want to be there and play, and show them how fun it can be,” Rogers said. For the first home game, the team requested a blackout. A small but dedicated group of students showed up in their black attire to scream encouragement for a sport many knew little about. Despite the efforts of the team and fans, Ames dropped their first home game to Johnston, three games to two. However, all is far from lost. The Little Cyclones are still 7-2 on the season, and can easily pick back up. The girls have had high hopes since the beginning of the season, including conference champs and getting to state. With a very diverse team including “many players that can play so many positions,” according to Brammer, the team still has a good portion of the season to solidify their place as a high-class team.