Sylvan-Lucas Mustang All-State outside/middle hitter Delaney Herold will continue her volleyball career at Cloud County Community College
The Sylvan-Lucas Mustang volleyball team posted back-to-back seasons with at least 33 wins and while a surprising early exit from Regional competition kept the ‘Stangs from a return trip to the State Tournament last fall, 2017 saw S-L finish third in the 1A-I tourney for one of the best seasons of volleyball in Sylvan-Lucas Unified school history.
While this year’s senior class featured a number of talented players - middle hitter Aundrea Haberer, setter Taegen Walter, setter Kaitlyn Schoen and more - Delaney Herold was the spearhead of the offensive attack in each of the last three seasons.
Herold finished her career with more than 1,200 kills and nearly 900 digs to go along with 299 blocks, 84 solo blocks and 179 aces in 315 sets played. She earned All-State recognition in each of the past three seasons to go along with first team All-Northern Plains League honors all three seasons as well.
Herold recently announced her commitment to Cloud County Community College to play volleyball this fall. We caught up with Sylvan-Lucas volleyball coach Linda Haring, and Herold, to talk about Delaney’s volleyball success and her commitment to play for the Thunderbirds.
Q&A with Sylvan-Lucas coach Linda Haring:
Q. What makes Delaney such a good player? Did she put in extra work outside of practice to develop into such a powerful hitter?
A. Her success comes from three major aspects: Her natural athletic ability, her passion for the sport, and her desire to win. Delaney works hard in the weight room during off season to increase her strength and her vertical. This extra effort is absolutely essential since she is just 5'9" and needs to have the vertical to hit around taller blockers. Her quickness also helps her beat blockers to the ball. Running track (she placed seventh and eighth at state track last year in the 100 and 200 meter dash) keeps her in shape for the summer and fall volleyball season. And, her success in that sport also indicates her athletic ability. Her impeccable timing and quick wrist snap are the keys to her strong attacks.
Delaney's mental toughness is a large determiner in her success. She likes a challenge and faces each with the attitude of "I can beat them!" This mental strength makes her a key player on the squad because her teammates trust her to get the job done. With Delaney on the court, they feel they are capable of a better performance.
Delaney stayed after practice almost every day, for all four years, to practice swings. She has also played winter club ball for four years. These extra "touches" on the ball helped refine her natural skill.
Delaney also has great support from her parents, who have always encouraged her to pursue her passion for volleyball. They help her focus on the positive, but push her to improve athletically so she could fulfill her dream of playing college ball. She was the spark plug for our team, igniting their energy with her excitement after each kill. She has a daunting presence on the court because others players know that she is out to take them down, and she is hard to beat because she refuses to quit.
Q. Is Delaney the hardest hitter to ever play for you?
A. I'd say she is in definitely in the top five. I have been blessed with many great hitters in the years that I have been coaching here.
Q. This senior class, that included Herold, was part of a very successful run for you. What helped them excel?
A. The success of the team came from having very strong outside/middle hitters like Delaney and Logan Batchman (last season), two outstanding setters who could place the ball anywhere, powerful aces servers (Taegen Walter was first in the state through all classes this year), consistent defense, and unity among teammates - this group has played together for six years since they were all seniors. Volleyball is a rhythm sport, so the team must understand and sync with each other. Having a group who has played together for so many years helps us achieve that unity quite easily.
Q&A with Herold:
Q. What do you like most about volleyball?
A. What I like most about volleyball would have to be the passion that it has brought me throughout the years. I love being out there and being in my zone with my teammates. Another part that I love about it is hyping up my teammates, because seeing their faces when they do something good is so rewarding to me.
Q. What was your favorite moment from high school volleyball?
A. My junior year at Sub-State. We were playing Stockton in the Championship, and whoever won would go to State. We won the first set pretty easily, and then let up the second set. So we went into three sets. They were up most of the game until Taegen Walter got into the back row to serve and served 10 serves in a row to ultimately send us to State. We were at 23, only two points more to go, and I remember that I started to tear-up because my dream of going to State was so close. Once the last point was scored after a tough rally I remember some teammates running up to hug me and we all fell on the ground crying tears of joy. It was one of the most surreal moments that I have experienced yet.
Q. What other schools did you consider? What ultimately led to you choosing Cloud?
A. Well I was kind of struggling to find places that were interested, since I didn’t really know a lot about the recruiting process. I visited Tabor and Cloud. I visited Tabor earlier this fall and actually liked it a lot, but it was far away from home, and I didn’t really like that aspect of it. So when I visited Cloud it felt like home, and I feel as though I would be comfortable at a smaller school. I really clicked with the head coach, Deb Monzon, and am excited to be coached by her.
Q. What do you want to study in college and what would you like to do as a career once college is over?
A. I am planning to go and play at Cloud. While I’m there I would like to get all of my general education classes done. And then, when I finish those, I would transfer to Wichita State or the University of Kansas to earn a degree in Physical Therapy.
Kansas Pregame covers high school sports in the Sunflower State. Know of a great story that needs to be told? We want to hear from you! Email us the next great story or video focused on Kansas high school sports at email@example.com.