‘I want to soak it all in’: Hanceville’s Kayley Kahler looking forward to senior season

Hanceville’s Kayley Kahler. (Courtesy of Kayley Kahler)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – The 2022 high school volleyball season is underway, and Hanceville senior Kayley Kahler is excited to see what this year’s Lady Bulldogs squad can do.

“I feel like last season was a good step in the right direction. We had a lot of new players last year, so we definitely focused on the basics of volleyball,” Kahler said. “Last season, I really learned to love the sport again. We had great team chemistry, and it gives me lots of hope for this season.”

Hanceville will have a lot of experienced players back in 2022 and will have a new player on the team.

“All of our varsity girls have experience with the exception of one new player this year: Kylee McGill,” Kahler said. “She has been a huge benefit to the team. She picked up everything super-fast and has been great. The whole team loves her, and she was a perfect addition to the team this season.”

Hanceville will have a new volleyball coach this year: Candice Grochowalski and Kayley has already learned a lot from her so far.

“She is super organized, and she brings lots of volleyball experience. She has coached club volleyball for a couple of years, so she’s definitely teaching us how to play a new level of volleyball. She brought lots of new drills with her, so we’ve really been expanding on the basics we had,” she said.

Kayley was happy to see the team do well in the play-day games during the summer and has learned so much during her time playing volleyball.

“I feel great about our play-day games. Personally, I think I played the best I’ve played in a while at the play-day games, and lots of girls have stepped up and been playing their best as well. We definitely looked like a much better volleyball team at our summer games,” she said. “Through the past few seasons, Hanceville volleyball has taught me to roll with the punches because each day brought us something new. It has also taught me how to be a leader.”

She added,

“This preseason was definitely hard with the coaching changes, but it taught me to lean on my teammates even more. I know the younger girls are watching me and following my lead. That has pushed me to lead by example and take a big leadership role for the team. I think all the challenges the girls and I have been through has created a very strong bond.”

Kayley has learned so much from previous coaches that have definitely helped her become the player that she is right now.

“We’ve had a lot of coaching changes in my time with the program, so I’ve learned to prove myself. Almost every year, I’ve had to show up and prove myself and what I can do to someone new. Coach Sullivan taught me to be confident. She saw what I could do and pushed me to see my talent too. Coach Bellmon taught me how to be a leader. He knew the girls looked up to me and he held me accountable. Coach McHan taught me to push harder. Whenever I thought I was out of energy, she pushed me to find more. Each coach I’ve had has taught me something new.”

Kayley feels blessed to be a part of a very special team and sees this team doing big things in 2022.

“This year’s team is very adaptable. We’re able to change our rotations and our players can switch positions very easily. Nothing is set in stone with us and we’re always trying something new on the court,” she said. “The team goal this year is to be competitive and win more games. We want to keep chipping away and build a winning program with a better record year by year. We’re focused on building a good volleyball program long-term.”

She added,

“My personal goal for the season is to just enjoy everything. This will be my last season at Hanceville, and I want to soak it all in and enjoy the game I love. In the past, it’s been easy to be stressed out by volleyball, but I want to be able to take a step back and have fun with the girls that have been there with me.”

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