Athlete of the Week: Ella Yanowich
Palisade Volleyball continues to advance in the State Playoffs
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Palisade volleyball is through to the state tournament after dominating at regionals. They hosted 2 matches, won them both handily, and outside hitter Ella Yanowich spiked her way to a clean sweep over Longmont and Falcon.
“Ella’s been a staple on our team, she started off as a back row player for us her freshman year, pretty solid for us her sophomore year. she’s been a great motivator later on our team and we’ll definitely miss her, just like we will any of our seniors. They all contribute in different ways.”
Yanowich is one of just three seniors for Palisade, but they’re ranked number 11 in the state for a reason. The Bulldogs went from having eight seniors last year to just three this season, Yanowich says she loves that leadership role, but it did take some getting used to.
“Honestly it’s a lot of pressure because I’ve always been the baby on the team. last year with the 8 seniors, I’ve always been the baby of the team and I’ve always had someone to look up to. It’s a completely different dynamic, it’s a completely different role, but it’s been fun to take on.”
“The fact that they had such a successful year last season, I think has helped them be able to step in and help the sophomores and freshmen and juniors step up and really be contributors on this team.”
Yanowich was part of a stacked team last season which got eliminated in the second round. She says the biggest difference this year has been team bonding off the court, which they believe will help take that next step towards a state championship.
“We’re really close. I think we’ve built such a good chemistry, we have so many team dinners, team activities where we get to know each other not only on the court but off the court. and then Coach is just an amazing person in general, she’s coached me for a really long time. so just knowing her and having chemistry with her is also a huge bonus.”
Palisade volleyball into the state tournament, it all starts Thursday at discovery canyon in Colorado Springs. Best of luck to the bulldogs.
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