North Texas Daily

York’s strong start guiding volleyball to turnaround season

York’s strong start guiding volleyball to turnaround season

October 04
23:56 2017

Since the early days of her volleyball career, junior Karley York has been a standout on every court she stepped foot on.

York, who attended Churchill High School in San Antonio, played in a state championship and was a Class 6A All-State selection during her prep career.

But that was just the beginning.

York spent the first two years of her collegiate career under the wing of Amy Henard, who is one of the more successful setters in program history. Now, York has emerged as the heir to the throne Henard left behind.

“Amy is probably one of my favorite people ever,” York said. “Coming in early as a freshman while she was a junior, I was able to see how she ran things, and how she worked with [head coach Andrew] Palileo. I got to see her different techniques and how she transitioned from high school and club volleyball into college.”

Learning from Henard paid off.

York is well on her way to having one of the best seasons as a setter in program history, as she is on pace to finish with more than 1,200 assists this year. York has racked up 118 assists in the last three games alone and has 714 on the season. She is averaging 11.52 assists per set, which ranks 14th in the country and second in Conference USA.

After stepping up into the role of the team’s facilitator who can get the ball right where it needs to be on a consistent basis, York took on another key position this season. She was named a team captain as a junior, filling a vital leadership role vacated by Henard’s graduation last year.

“She’s in a position right now to be one of the better setters that has come through North Texas,” Palileo said. “She’s worked hard at it. She comes in for extra reps, she watches video, and she makes sure to talk about what we want to do for the game plan.”

York’s leadership was put on display in a game against the University of Oklahoma, when the scoreboard went out for more than five minutes early in the game. While that may have resulted in a loss of momentum for some teams, York helped get the group refocused during the delay.

The Mean Green went on to sweep the Sooners in straight sets, and York finished with 33 assists in front of a school-record 719 fans.

“She’s the person who is able to tell people the things they don’t want to hear,” junior Alex Janak said. “She’s not afraid to give good constructive criticism.”

York’s leadership plays a major role in helping unite the team in tough moments, but she’s also had an impact on the younger players rising through the volleyball program. After having Henard to look up to as a mentor, York is now passing that same knowledge on to the players who will one day lead the Mean Green.

“[She has the] ability to take control of the court,” freshman Valerie Valerian said. “She’s definitely been a leadership figure to me as a freshman, and I definitely look up to her.”

The drive and passion she shows as a leader and player not only on the court, but off it as well, has proven worthy to the Mean Green as they continue to dominant midway through the year. The team is off to its best start in school history, and York has been an important piece in the rapid turnaround from a tough 2016 campaign.

She still has time to build on her legacy, but from the looks of it, York is well on her way to leaving a mark at North Texas.

“It’s kind of early right now because this is still her junior year,” Palileo said. “It’s a matter of if she can sustain her level of play, and I think if she does that then she’s going to be one of the better setters that I’ve been able to coach.”

Featured Image: Senior Karley York (1), one of the captains of this year’s Mean Green volleyball team, smiles after winning against UTSA. Madison Gore

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Griffin Bruce

Griffin Bruce

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