In addition to Lauren Jungling’s contributions to the Pella Christian Eagles volleyball team in the 2012 season, head coach, Cindy Nikkel also pointed out two other seniors that really stepped up for her squad during the tumultuous 2012 season, the first having had a little varsity experience in her junior year, and that was Jora Vander Hart. Nikkel mentioned how important it was for Vander Hart to get some varsity experience late in last year’s season, which has helped her develop even more this year. “I think in a big way, Jora Vander Hart has been a big asset to our team,” Nikkel said. “As an outside hitter, she played left-back defense for us about two-thirds of the way through the year last year, so got a little playing time towards the end of last year’s season, so I think that helped. She stepped up her game playing front row now, and is a team captain on the court.”
The other senior that really was able to step up big for Nikkel and her Eagles’ team was a girl who was injured on several occasions during the season. “Another person that I felt like really came out, [Briana] Warden,” said Nikkel. “She was injured two different times this season with her ankles going down, so she’s been back and forth, in-and-out a little bit. That slowed her development down a little bit as a key player.”
Nikkel adds that she had a big game late in the season swarming to the ball which really showed how far she had come and developed as a player. Even with such a young squad comprising the rest of Pella Christian’s team, they were able to stand tall even against some Class 5A opponents such as Johnston and Dowling Catholic. Pella Christian finished with a 16 – 18 record in 2012.