Papillion-La Vista South volleyball has gone through some changes since winning three straight Class A state championships. First-year coach Elena Pietro took over a team that had three players move on to Nebraska. One returner, Adyson Goodnight, is a South Florida recruit and considered one of the top players in the state. After a 5-2 start to the season, she will be important to the 10th-ranked Titans’ success.
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Q: What has practice been like under Coach Pietro?
A: It’s different, but it’s still intense. They are really quick and intense practices, which forces you to keep your head in the game. Everything is fast, fast, fast.
Q: Now that you’re considered the experienced leader on the team, how would you describe yourself as a leader?
A: I’m pretty laid-back. I try to encourage the younger players and help them along. I’m more of a quiet type. I watch and see what’s going on, and if someone’s making a mistake, I take them to the side and try not to call them out in front of everyone.
Q: What were your expectations coming into the season?
A: Coming into the season, I’ll admit I was nervous. A lot of the people playing varsity now didn’t even practice on that court last year. It takes a lot to handle coming from a JV game to a varsity game. The speed is a lot faster.
Q: How have your expectations changed since the beginning of the season?
A: Now, I’m not nervous at all. We work super hard in practice, and we have the skills. Everyone wants us to lose. We can’t just walk through games and expect to win. We really have to work for it this year.
Q: Why did you choose South Florida?
A: I was down there for nationals with my club team. (USF) Coach (Courtney) Draper walked by and decided she liked me. She emailed my dad and me while I was down there, and I stayed an extra day. I met a lot of people and loved everything. The athletic facilities were spot on. Academics was a major part, too. I’m undecided on a major, and the whole freshman year they guide you along the way and help you find what you want to do. I love Coach Draper, she’s so sweet. She said she’ll be my mom away from home whenever I need something. That’s what really sold me.