Junior volleyball player reflects on accomplishments, plans for season

Ella Chaney ranks No. 3 on national hitting percentage leaderboards

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Alyssa Clark

In a game from last year’s season, now-junior Ella Chaney prepares to serve the ball over in a winning game versus Braswell. Chaney and the Prosper Eagles have a current season score at 19-7. District play will start this Friday, Sept. 10, at home against Little Elm.

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As the ref blows the whistle, the Prosper Eagles varsity volleyball team know it’s time to focus, and junior Ella Chaney knows her job. She watches and waits for that perfect moment. The ball lofts to her from her teammate. She reaches up and spikes it. Another win for the Prosper Eagles.

“(After seeing the ranking) I felt good about myself, because I know I worked hard for it, and I also felt really consistent because it’s a hitting percentage, it varies between games,” Chaney said. “I felt good for my team, knowing that we won, and I contributed.”

A hitting percentage is calculated by kills, minus errors and dividing that number by the total amount of attempts, or plays over the net according to Hudl. Teammates of Chaney highlighted her work on the team.

“I think Ella is a great leader on the court, and she brings great energy,” sophomore Ayden Ames said.

Chaney wears No. 9 on the court, and plays as a middle hitter. Chaney has been on varsity since her freshman year, but has been playing volleyball since she was in third grade.

“Ella is a really good teammate and a good person to be encouraged by,” sophomore Sydney Thorton said.

In volleyball, .300 is considered to be an “excellent” hitting percentage, according to AthleticLift. Chaney’s hitting percentage is .177 more than this average. With hitting percentages, the higher it is, the better.

“Ella is very dedicated to volleyball, and always gives 100% effort,” junior Kenzie Johnson said.

Last year, the Prosper volleyball team won the title of Area Champs, and made it to Round 3 of district.

“We got a good group of girls, they all work really hard, and they’re always putting it out there on the line,” junior varsity volleyball coach Olivia Mastrilli said. “They’re super coachable, which is awesome, you don’t get that at other schools, so they’re great.”

Mastrilli said that in her eyes, Chaney’s MaxPreps ranking is a ‘show of the work you’ve put in.’

“It (the MaxPreps ranking) means a lot,” Mastrilli said. “Going into district, teams are looking at that. They’re seeing which teams to beat, when you’re on that ranking it puts some pressure on you.”

Protecting her side of the court, junior Ella Chaney and her teammate block the ball. Chaney plays as a middle hitter. Volleyball wears yellow to practice on Wednesday in support of Hope Squad, and suicide prevention. (Alyssa Clark)

Erin Kauffman, the head varsity volleyball coach for Prosper for 8 years, said how Chaney is ‘detail oriented, and has great court awareness.’

“What I have always loved about Ella is her court IQ. She just gets the game,” Kauffman said. “Even as a freshman, she was doing all the little things that most freshman don’t do.  I have seen her overall game develop the last three years, and I can’t wait to see how she takes this team to a new level this year and next.”

With the team’s overall win-to-loss status at 19-7 with a month into the season, Chaney says she’s ‘looking forward’ to beating Guyer, and accomplishing many more title competitions along the way.

“I’m looking forward to playoffs, obviously, and I’m looking forward to district, which hasn’t even started,” Chaney said. “I’m just looking forward to winning.”

Will you be at the first district volleyball game this Friday?

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