Leadership - it’s not an easy commodity to find. A good leader can make a good team into a great one, and a good team without good leadership can fall apart quickly.
The Fleetwood High School girls’ volleyball team believes they have two good leaders in co-captains Vegas Youse and Amanda Meck.
Youse, a senior, is a solid all-around player Coach Ron Humer can count on. Mainly, she’s an offensive force on the team and is coming off a junior season in which she named to the All-Division 2 team.
The fact that Meck was chosen as a co-captain says a lot about her in itself considering she is only a sophomore. She was a starter on the team as a freshman and quickly made her mark as a setter.
“My role on the team is to put the ball up for our hitters to put down,” said Meck. “Equally important, I need to be a leader for our team. As a captain and as a setter, I believe it’s important for me to be a vocal leader, as well as a physical leader.”
After finishing third with an 8-4 season last year in Division 2, the Lady Tigers hope to improve on that record and compete for a division title.
The bad news is that they’re off to a slow start, losing two of the first three league matches this year. It’s times like these when the team looks to its leaders.
“I need to be a role model to all of the girls and I hope to bring a positive attitude to those who want to learn,” said Youse. “I think it has gone very well so far this year. We started off a little shaky, but we’ve cleaned it up.”
“I personally feel that we have a solid team and we’re doing really well so far,” said Meck. “We need to communicate more and play the game the way we all know how to play it.”
Youse has been playing volleyball for the past eight years, getting interested in the sport while watching her older sister play. “When I watched her play, I just knew that’s what I wanted to play,” she said. “It’s not just one thing (about volleyball) that keeps me playing. I love it all down to the last drop of sweat.”
She played for two club teams (Tops and X-Treme), as well as middle school, and now high school.
“Vegas is the offensive player every coach wants and needs to be a strong team,” said Coach Humer. “She is a powerful and smart offensive weapon and she plays bigger than she is when blocking. She’s also the defensive player that all coaches are looking for. Her all-around play makes her a standout player.”
For Meck, the sport of volleyball was always in her blood.
“I always wanted to play volleyball since I was a little girl,” said Meck. “I love the sport in its entirety and I have high hopes of playing in college.”
“Mandy offers athleticism to her role as the varsity setter,” said Humer. “As a freshman starter on the varsity squad last year, she has grown into a smarter and more skilled leader this year. She can force opponents to be out of system on defense with her ability to move the ball around the court. She also has the ability to slow down or shut down opponents stronger outside hitters with effective blocking high over the net. Athleticism and desire are her strongest traits she offers to our team.”
Youse is playing her final year of high school volleyball, and wants to make the most of her final season. “I want to leave the team knowing that we tried our hardest,” said Youse. “The girls are a family.”
For Meck, she still has the rest of this year and two more seasons to look forward to on the team. “By the end of my high school volleyball career, my goal is to get All-County, if not All-State setter,” she said.
Of course the goal for both of them is to get the team going in the right direction and qualify for the playoffs this season. Youse and Meck will make sure everyone is on the same page, and doing their best to reach that goal.