PREP VOLLEYBALL: ‘Enjoy every moment’: Hanceville’s Makenzie Twilley recaps sophomore season

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Hanceville’s Makenzie Twilley. (Courtesy of Makenzie Twilley)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. — The Hanceville Lady Bulldogs volleyball team improved quite a bit last season and upcoming junior Makenzie Twilley talked about that experience, plus what it was like to play alongside some great teammates.

“I feel like we definitely improved from the years before. There were some ups and downs during the season, but we grew together as a team and learned to trust each other more. I learned that I need to put more trust into my teammates and myself to be able to execute a play,” Twilley said. “This past season, I bonded really well with our new coach. She taught me so much and made me learn more about volleyball than I ever have under any coach. She came in determined to turn our program around and I feel like she really did that. I was one of the youngest ones on the team, so I had many role models and I learned so much from my seniors this past year. I will miss them so much, but I feel like they taught me enough to lead my team this upcoming season.”

She took away so much from three great seniors this past season and from coach Grochowalski.

“Kayley had been a mentor for me ever since I started playing volleyball. She taught me to perfect my hitting technique from the ground up. I really learned a lot from Kayley and I will miss her a lot. Alivia taught me to not let a bad play get to my head and to move on to the next play and do better,” Twilley said. “She was always there to hype me up and I’ll miss having her on the court. Savana made the season really fun for me. We became really close friends and she taught me to always have fun and to enjoy every moment. I’ll miss the practices and all the games we spent together.”

She added,

“Last year, she was really inspiring for me. She came in the middle of our summer season and immediately got to work with us. She re-taught us all of the basics there are in volleyball and focused on the fundamentals. I completely learned how to play volleyball the right way and she really just turned our season around and improved each of the girls’ mental toughness and confidence.”

Hanceville will have a new head coach this upcoming season in Morgan Hammock and Makenzie has already taken away so much from her so far. Makenzie has learned a thing or two during her time on varsity and has seen her game improve a lot over the years.

“We haven’t had coach Hammock for a long time, but I’ve already learned a lot from her. She brings more fresh experiences and a fun atmosphere to the game. I love her as a coach so far and I’m really excited to learn more from her. She has gone into depth with me about my serving and my passing and she has really helped me improve in both of those areas. She has also improved my mental viewpoint of the game,” she said. “Being on varsity has helped me be more competitive with other teams and my performance. Throughout the years, I believe, the harder I work, the more improvement I see.”

She will continue to work on some things in the offseason in preparation for this upcoming season. She has set some goals for this upcoming season.

“The biggest thing I’m focused on improving for this next season is my performance as a hitter and as a teammate. I’m trying to be the best leader I can be for my team to get us where we need to be,” she said. “My individual goal is to be able to execute the best performance that I possibly can. For my team, I want us to grow as a team and each of us to grow in the game. I want us to be able to have a winning and successful season for the first time in a long time.”

She thinks the 2023 season will be a special one for Hanceville and she talked about a role model that she looks up to.

“I believe what will make us special to watch this year is our chemistry on the court and as a team. I am very excited for our upcoming season and for the opportunity to play with the girls, who have become a family to me,” she said. “My role model is coach Hammock. She has really stepped up as our coach so far and has taught me so much, so I really look up to her. I’m really excited to have her as a part of our team and program. I’m really excited to see how much more she teaches us and what else she can help accomplish for us.”

Makenzie has learned a couple of things from this year’s seniors so far and talked about the best advice that someone ever gave her.

“This year’s seniors have all been really encouraging to all of us and they have taught me to always keep pushing and never give up,” she said. “The best advice someone has given me is to never let anything change the way you play.”

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