Batavia setter Audrey Faulhaber is one of three Bulldogs seniors entering her third varsity season with the girls volleyball program. She likes to think she has a rapport with the others in that group – outside hitter Heather Meyer and middle hitter Shea Thayer – as well as the rest of the team. A one-time understudy to Marquette sophomore Mary Nilles at her position, Faulhaber quickly developed into a leadership role. Catching up with Kane County Chronicle sports reporter Kevin Druley, Faulhaber addressed that process and more in the latest edition of the Weekend Chit-chat. The following is an edited transcript:
Talk about how you’ve developed through the years on varsity.
I’ve been on it since a sophomore, and I’ve just grown so much strategically. Just being a setter, it’s a really big job, and it takes a long time to really grow into it, and I’ve just really developed my skills and my mind. … I’m so excited to see what this season is going to bring and everything.
Is it much different working with a middle and an outside?
Just every hitter is different. They have different hitting preferences. Some middles like it lower, some higher. It just depends on how high they touch. So it takes awhile to get used to your teammates, but we’re really starting to jell and get along. It’s great.
You’ve said Shea likes the ball high. Is it just an instinct to put it there for her since you’ve been teammates so long?
It definitely is. … She always gives it her all. I mean, she has been dealing with injuries, so that’s always hard for players. She’s always been great, but this year, she’s even better. I just think that’s through club and high school, just growing.
How much does coach [Lori Trippi-Payne] ease that? Certainly, she’s competitive, but she always seems to be upbeat.
Oh, yeah, she definitely helps. And we’re all very supportive and very determined to play our best always.
This is a busy week with so many matches. Did it ever reach a tipping point for the team before the first one?
Yeah. I mean, we haven’t hit our peak yet, and that’s normal, because we’re just starting. But we’re growing each practice. We’re getting better each practice and playing together.
Sounds like there’s lots of positive energy around the Bulldogs.
We’re all excited to see what this season brings. I think we have a really talented team this year. I think we’re going to go really far. I’m excited.