The significance of the set

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By Ryan Naus

To start a play in volleyball, a team must play defense first and make sure they can return the ball.

The next play determines whether or not they’ll be able to attack or continue playing defensively.

That play is called a set and if it is executed properly, it allows a team to set the tone for a match.

The district tournament starts on Oct. 12 and will give Grant County and Williamstown the chance to show their ability to set the ball and their offensive attack.

“Setting is extremely important for us this year,” Grant County coach Kelli Lee said. “When we don’t make the first mistake, our mindset is more positive.”

“If our team makes a bad pass, we still need to do something effective with the ball where we have the chance to get a point,” Williamstown coach Wes Staff said. “That comes does to the setter because they have to get to the ball no matter what. They have to do a lot of work.”

Grant County relies on two seniors, Rachel Kitchens and Katie Gregg, as their setters, while Williamstown counts on two juniors, Haley Rothwell and Chelsea West, to set up their hitters.

Both coaches expect their setters to be vocal leaders and help set up their teammates for success.

“They are kind of like a coach or quarterback on the court,” Staff said. “They let the play happen and we want our sets to be perfect to give our hitters the best opportunity. If the rest of the team sees that our setters are hustling and on their game, it motivates the team to do what they have to do to play their best. They can be a sparkplug for our team.”

“I look for our setters to take control of the floor and lead,” Lee said. “I want them to be the vocal leader because if you don’t have the sets, it determines if you’re attacking or just surviving.”

The setters take the spin off the initial hit to set up their teammates, but also have the option of surprising the other team by quick setting the ball to an open spot on the opponent’s side.

Setter to hitter connection:

Grant County’s connection

“I think setting is important because everything starts with the set,” Kitchens said. “We’ve gotten a lot better in transitioning, but we can improve by not calling for help as much.”

“I think our defense is the most important part, but setting is important in having a good offense,” senior hitter Dawn Plunkett said. “Coach Lee teaches us to be aggressive in whatever we do. Our first option is to be as aggressive as possible.”

Williamstown’s connection

“A set determines whether the other team will struggle to get the ball back from our hit,” Rothwell said. “To get a good set, you’ve got to have a good pass. It all comes down to passing. Confidence is important because you’ve got to be able to shake off bad plays.”

“A good set allows us to get good hits a little easier,” senior hitter Taylor Eldridge said. “We practice and practice getting our bodies as square as possible to the ball. It’s about reacting as soon as possible.”