KCHI Sports Director, Brent Hesse, sat down with Coach Lanie Beetsma of the Chillicothe Hornets Volleyball team to discuss the upcoming fall season. The audio of the interview that played on the radio is included in this article, and Coach Beetsma’s responses are in bold.
Hello this is Brent Hesse at KCHI, looking at our season preview of the volleyball team today for the Chillicothe Hornets. I’m here with Coach Lanie Beetsma. Coach Beetsma, thanks for joining us today, how are you doing?
Doing great, thanks for having us and showcasing all the Chillicothe fall sports.
Yeah it’s an exciting time. We’re just a couple weeks away from the fall sports really getting into gear and starting their first games of the season. What do you think of the team so far, you’ve gotten a few practices in, how is everyone looking in the off-season and now beginning at the start of the practices?
It’s been a good first week of practice. We did quite a bit of summer stuff in May and June, we went to the Lathrop tournament every Tuesday in June, as well as the East Buchanan tournament, ended on top on all of those with a winning record for varsity. Coming off a season with a 17-12 record from 2022, excited to build on that, have many of my same starting varsity players back, returning with us this year, excited to continue to build on that foundation for volleyball in Chillicothe.
Definitely an exciting time, in your first year, last year as the head coach you finish the season with 17 wins which is the most in the last five years in the program. What has it taken to be able to get the most out of the team and make sure that the team is playing their best throughout the whole season consistently?
It takes a lot of effort and determination. Good attitudes on the parts of the girls, that we want this to be a great program in this area and so they know they have to put the work in. They know all our competitors, all our conference teams, our district teams are doing the same thing, they’re putting in the work, they’re diving after balls and working hard in conditioning and just having that mindset that if we want to be great, we’ve got to practice great.
Last year you were anchored by four players that were honorable mention all conference. Can you talk about some of the returners? Of course you lost a couple as well, how is that impact going to change the team but also the returners, what are they going to mean for the team?
I’m really pleased with the returners we have from 2022 to this year. Kayanna Cranmer is a middle hitter for us, does a great job, good leader on and off the court, happy to have her athleticism out there. Ava Leamer, coming in as a sophomore, a freshman last year, did really well playing back row and as an outside hitter for us, good ball skills, glad to have her back. Lyla Beetsma, all-around player, may do some setting for us this year on her back row as well as an outside hitter on her front row. Call out to Madison Albaugh who is also a senior, is a really great defensive player, also a wonderful teammate, glad to have Madi on the court. Delanie Kieffer for our libero spot, so plays all time back row, has a lot of oomph back there, a lot of team spirit, brings a lot of character to our team and keeps us on our toes. Of course we have four or five more players to round out that varsity court all extremely important members of our team and we couldn’t do it without the 31 players that we have going out this year.
Looks like the roster is looking good for this season, so what do you expect in terms of the strength of the team? Whether it could be a position or it could just be an attitude or anything going into season what are you expecting to know that the Chillicothe Hornets are going to come out and do this well every single time?
I think what’s different this year is we have a whole bunch of girls, 31 girls out and the love of volleyball is growing in this area. That’s so exciting to see and that’s really evident on the court. Something that we are going to capitalize more on this year is our blocking ability. I mentioned some of those girls in addition to Emerson Staton being a wonderful big block, Liz Oliver has a nice big block up at the net, so we have some height. We have some blocking ability so that’s a new layer for our volleyball and that we could build on from last year is our blocking and it’s definitely going to come out this season.
And now that we’re just getting close to the start of the season can you map us out? What is it going to look like the next couple of weeks in terms of practices, maybe exhibition games before the start of the season, then the first couple weeks of the season? When are we going to be able to see in action, the Chillicothe Hornets volleyball team?
Finishing out this week of practices, all next week of practices. The 21st we go to a jamboree in Lawson, Missouri where we will see Lawson, Smithville and Excelsior Springs. Meet the Hornets the night of the 22nd. Our game days officially kick off on Tuesday, August 29th here at home against Lathrop who we saw many times this summer, great competition for us, Lathrop has a good volleyball club, followed by a Thursday night away at Trenton High School.
Getting close to it! I want to talk about, of course it’s still early on, but do you have any goals or ideas for this team this season? Has the team talked or mentioned anything that they want to accomplish this season?
We haven’t really split into teams yet to really talk about goals for C team, JV and varsity. From a varsity standpoint and all team standpoint, the goal definitely would be to have a winning record and build upon that 17-12 from last year. As the varsity coach I can’t say anything except my goal would be to love to have a painter come out and mark on the wall for a Conference or District championship for the first time ever in Chillicothe history for volleyball!
We’re hoping to get there too! I know that people are excited about the volleyball program, that you of course accomplished a lot in the first season and looking to build off of that this year. What is your message for the fans, parents, people that are gonna come out and support the volleyball program this year?
Volleyballs a really fun sport, I think we gained some fans last year. Some people came out and supported it. It is a fun sport to watch, especially rally plays, hustle plays, it’s fun to see blocks and kills and you’ll certainly see that if you come out and support the girls.
Thank you so much Coach Lanie Beetsma for joining us today. We look forward to following along throughout the season, best of luck!
Thank you, thanks for your time.