STOCKTON - St. Mary’s High volleyball coach Jayne McHugh put it best in regards to Emma Miller, the junior currently leading the Rams in kills.
“Emma on the court?” said McHugh in response to a question asking what the outside hitter is like. “It’s been fun to finally see what Emma really is on the court.”
After dealing with the aftermath of back surgery as a sophomore, Miller is back at full strength this season, noted by her team-leading 134 kills. Paired with teammates such as fellow junior Anya Green (104 kills), the Rams have gotten off to a 17-1 start on the year.
Miller was introduced to the sport at a young age, she said, with her father having coached at St. Mary’s. She liked how quick and fast-paced it was, and found her spot on the court when she made the switch to outside hitter.
“She hits what I would call a heavy ball,” McHugh said. “It explodes at you. It gets at you in a big hurry.”
Miller said the team has had a focused approach to the season so far, and the Rams have tried not to get themselves into holes that they can’t get out of. Last year’s team was young, meaning the Rams have had that much more experience to aid their fast start.
As for her own play, Miller said she’s had one main goal - consistency.
“This year, I’ve really been focused on minimizing my errors to earn more points for the team,” she said.
St. Mary’s begins play in the Tri-City Athletic League on Monday, and McHugh said the league might be as tough as its been in some time. From Miller’s perspective, she said the team has been working extremely hard in practice; if the Rams can keep it up, they should be up to the challenge once TCAL comes around.
“We can’t let other teams get in our heads and be scared our nervous to play,” Miller said. “But we also can’t be overconfident in what we’re doing.
We need to be mellow, and go in doing what we know how to do.”