Volleyball experimenting with Henard’s role between setter and libero

Volleyball experimenting with Henard’s role between setter and libero

Volleyball experimenting with Henard’s role between setter and libero
November 09
12:12 2015

Clay Massey | Staff Writer

@Clay_FC

While some may fear change, Mean Green volleyball head coach Andrew Palileo is not one of those people.

With the season winding down, the third year head coach decided to experiment with his line-up, moving junior Amy Henard from her normal setting positon to a libero role. Henard has racked up 3,232 career assists, which is mostly a result from being the team’s setter for almost three full seasons.

But moving Henard to libero is something that Palileo has talked over with her, and it was not a rash decision.

“Any time you’re trying to make a move with your setter who’s had over 3,000 assists, that’s not a move you want to take lightly,” Palileo said. “We’ve talked about it for a long time, and we’ve tinkered with it in practice before we actually used it.”

Henard has jumped head first into her new role in the team’s match against the University of Texas at El Paso. She picked up 53 digs over her last four matches as the libero, proving the switch effective.

The Weatherford, Texas native has shown her athleticism in the past making diving digs, which makes it a good fit being the “beast on the back row,” as she called it. Even though there was discussion of moving Henard to libero, she still was a bit surprised to move from her setter post.

“[Palileo] had always poked fun at it,” Henard said. “He and Vinh would always be like, ‘Oh Amy you want to be the libero?’ But I never actually thought they would completely go through with it. Now that I’m in the position, I’m not upset. If this is what I need to do for us to get wins on the board, then I am all for doing it for my team and my teammates.”

With Henard’s move from setter to libero, it has opened up a chance for two freshman setters to step in. Karley York and Alex Janak have begun splitting the setter duties for the Mean Green as of now, combining to average 34 assists a match since the UTSA match.

That picks up right where Henard left off, as she was averaging 33 assists a match before her move to libero. York sees how she and her freshman teammate have positively slotted into the line-up.

“I think we’ve both adjusted pretty well,” York said. “We both knew that we didn’t have that much time to work with it. But if we came in and did what we’ve been training to do, we’d be ok.”

The duo has had help from their teammates as well. The outside hitters have told York and Janak how they want the ball to be laid up for them – something she appreciates.

“It’s actually really helpful because it helps me adjust better,” Janak said. “It makes everyone sync up and perform better as a team.”

Henard has not left the setter role completely, as she was the featured setter in the match against Florida International University on November 8th. She is also not leaving her role as a leader to the young setters, as she is still giving Janak and York pointers on how to be the best they can be.

“I’ve been trying to help them along,” Henard said. “Stuff not that the coach doesn’t pay attention to, like the nuances of being a setter. Developing into a leader, running the court and demanding things out of their teammates. They’ve been very receptive. It’s a tough job as a freshman. I’ve been there.”

Featured Image: Courtesy | North Texas Athletics

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