'Triple D disease' helping Casey win

August 27, 2003|JILL ERWIN

LIBERTY - They've been together through thick and thin, and now the Casey County seniors are facing a disease.

Coaches Rachel Taylor and Teresa Eads call it the "Triple D disease" - discipline, determination and dedication - and the Rebels say they've been infected.

"We started out at the first of summer and we've been in the weight room, we've been practicing, we went to the UK volleyball clinic," senior A.J. Lee said. "We've worked our butts off this year. We want to be the best we can be. We really do have the Triple D disease because they discipline us, we have determination and dedication. We've run like you wouldn't believe."

The Rebels beat Garrard County 25-14, 25-14 Tuesday in only their third match of the season. But already Casey feels like it's in the beginnings of a special season. Of the six seniors listed on the roster, five of them have played all four years Casey has had a program.


"We've been here four years and we're the first team to go all the way through four years," Jessie Wilkinson said. "We're really excited and we think we'll have a really good year this year.

"I feel like we won't have any problem in districts, but I want to go to regionals and I want to win regionals. I want to go to state."

The senior class has been reduced a bit with the loss of Meagan Murphy to a knee injury and the departure of Alicia Hogue from the team.

Wilkinson said Hogue was the loudest member of the team, a role she has now decided to fill. During timeouts Tuesday, she was cheering, arms raised above her head as she came off the floor.

Wilkinson wants to leave something with the younger girls, but she's also enjoying her time with her friends.

"Our biggest thing is that we're best friends," Wilkinson said. "We've known each other our whole lives."

"We talk constantly," Lee said. "That's what we stress in practice all the time is talking to each other. We try to give constructive criticism to others. We do stuff together all the time."

Casey's needs have changed

As Casey has improved, its needs have changed. Now that the Rebels understand the game better, Taylor can make changes to her lineup for strategy instead of just having to plug holes.

"We tried to start this year playing people who are better suited for a position in that position and it's taken the girls a little while to get used to it because they don't like coming out on the back line," Taylor said. "We've moved in some people on the back line who can receive a little better, who are a little quicker and I think that's going to help us against other teams with really good serves."

Casey is also a strong serving team. Senior Jessica Pierce led the way Tuesday with four aces, Lee had three and sophomore McKenzie Weddle had one. Weddle also led the team with six assists, and junior Kelli Patten had five kills for the Rebels.

Wilkinson said her group of seniors has improved a lot in its four years and the girls want to pass that experience on to the two juniors and six sophomores on the team.

"That helps us tremendously because everybody else is just being brought into volleyball because we don't have a middle school team," Wilkinson said. "P.E. (physical education) volleyball is basically all they have and it's completely different. Our first year, we were awful. We couldn't hit the ball. We've come so far, and it's great."

"Our sophomores are learning, something every game" Taylor said. "They're willing to learn and they're willing to do whatever they can to help the team win.

"They were here this afternoon at 3:30 wanting a ball to hit before the game even started. They've got the dedication and the hard work that it's going to take for them to be a great team for the next two years."

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