Plainfield Central’s Elizabeth Hyland has two ways to think of her varsity career.
Hyland, a two-year varsity starter, could focus on all the experience she’s had.
Or, the junior could focus on what’s ahead and keep building. Unfortunately for Central’s opponents, Hyland is very much focusing on what more she can do for the Wildcats.
“[Accomplishing a lot], I kinda feel like the opposite,” Hyland said. “I’ve got two years left, and I haven’t accomplished enough. With leading the team, I’ve just got so much more to do.”
More work for Hyland comes after two busy years. Making the varsity as a freshman, she was a key player for a Wildcats team that made a surprising run to the sectional finals.
The coolest part of the freshman experience? Getting a chance to play with her sister, Erin, who was a senior during the 2011 season.
“It was the best experience I could ever ask for,” Hyland said. “Erin is the person I try to be like and mimic. I can’t even put it into words. She’s the best player I’ve ever seen and the best leader.”
Her sophomore year was another step forward, Hyland making the Herald-News All-Area and all-conference in the Southwest Prairie, piling up 292 kills, 199 digs, 85 blocks and 41 service aces.
The Wildcats struggled in 2012, finishing a disappointing 14-23.
What will Hyland’s junior year hold?
Hyland says the 2013 campaign will be a building season for the program in general. First-year coach Erik Vogt will be counting on Hyland to perform.
Hyland has taken a bigger role on and off the court, working on all aspects of her game, especially her cut shot at the net across the court.
The volleyball skills will be there, though. Hyland is embracing more of a leadership role.
“I don’t think there’s any pressure [to lead], but I just have expectations for myself that I want to meet,” Hyland said. “Leading the team and showing them how it’s done, and with a young team, making sure everyone feels welcome. I do try to be a leader for the freshmen and sophomores, but also try to help them and my varsity teammates be leaders, too.”
So with two full seasons to leave her mark on the program, Hyland is psyched for what awaits. Her busy freshman season may feel as if it were a long time ago, but it made her the player she is today.
“I’ve definitely changed as a player,” Hyland said. “When I was a freshman on that senior-heavy team, it made me such a better player.”
She already is looking ahead to college.
“I definitely want to play in college, and right now I’m really looking at Lewis University,” Hyland said. “I’ll, hopefully, have my answer soon.”