Big Rapids volleyball team excited to get going

BIG RAPIDS — The first day of high school volleyball practice is in the books and the Big Rapids Cardinals are excited to get the season rolling.

“It went really well,” head coach Chelsea Nelson said. “They worked hard and I was very impressed with their focus. We’re very excited to get the ball rolling with positions. The girls get along and they’re having fun.”

Approximately 20 girls arrived for freshmen and junior varsity tryouts, an uptick from recent years. 14 returning varsity players participated in practice.

“We’re excited to house a freshmen team this year,” Nelson said. “It’s all a part of building the program. The numbers are up this year.”

Nelson noted the change she has seen in the girls’ level of play over the course of the summer. The Ferris State varsity volleyball camp paid big dividends.

“We introduced them to things throughout the summer,” Nelson said. “Everybody that came to tryouts went to Ferris camp. Leadership-wise we have girls stepping up. The girls are more vocal than last year.”

Nelson is entering her second year as head coach of the Cardinals. The team advanced to the district finals last season before falling to Cadillac and the girls are hoping to make a playoff run. Their season starts on August 19 with the Alma Invite in Alma.

“Our focus is definitely on passing and defense,” Nelson said. “We lost a lot of power from last year. That will be our focus the next few days and then the offense.

“We get next week to prepare,” Nelson said. “I’m excited to get things rolling.”

Big Rapids volleyball coach Chelsea Nelson has begun the 2017 practice season.

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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