For first-year Cimarron High School head volleyball coach Ingrid Dumler, one of the keys to continue the Bluejays’ recent success in Hi-Plains League play is keeping as much consistency as possible between last year’s system and hers.
“We'll probably be running about the same offense,” Dumler said.
The Bluejays, coached by Donald Dyke last season, finished 6-2 in league play, and 17-16 overall.
While the offense will be very similar if not identical to last year’s, Dumler said there are things the team still needs to work on, and there may indeed be a couple of changes to how the team plays going from last season to this one.
“We’re really really honing in on defense this year and our cover game,” Dumler said “That's what we've been focusing on a lot. We're hoping to run a quicker game this year."
Dumler isn’t unfamiliar with the players, and they aren’t unfamiliar with her, she said.
"I coached three of the four classes when they were in junior high, so they kind of know my system, but they're still learning,” Dumler said.
Another key point of emphasis going into the 2018 season is the development of team chemistry to help the Bluejays reach their goals.
Some of it’s already there, such as between the team’s setters and hitters, Dumler said, but it’s also something the team continues to work on.
"We're very very hopeful about our success,” Dumler said. “We've set some big goals in the win department, but we're right now focusing mostly on just working hard to get better together."
The goals are there, and so too is the effort, Dumler said.
"I would say our girls this year have set a goal and are determined to play together no matter what this year and to really focus on team unity,” Dumler said. “They're just really, really working hard to focus in on the team aspect and the chemistry on the court together."
The Bluejays 6-2 league record last year was good enough for third, behind Lakin and rival Meade, whose team went undefeated in league play on the way to a 33-10 overall record.
"We are really excited to play Meade this year,” Dumler said. “They have a lot of returners and they are a really good team. Of course they are our rivals, so we are just working hard to make up the best team we can be to put up against 'em, and we feel pretty hopeful."
The Bluejays open their season at 4 p.m. Aug. 28 when they host Spearville and Pawnee Heights at Cimarron High School.