Aug. 27—CHEYENNE — Serenity Wilcox has had to get used to many new things this fall.
The senior is playing for a Cheyenne South squad filled with new teammates and players who weren't on the varsity roster a season ago. Lady Bison coach Kiarra Johnson is new to Cheyenne this season.
To top it all off, Wilcox is getting accustomed to a new role that has her playing a new position.
"Only having three returning varsity players is a hard thing to go through," Wilcox said. "It's taken a lot of effort and time to get connections built and make sure everyone was up to pace.
"Being the most experienced player kind of takes a toll. Playing with different teammates every year has bene a lot. It's been hard and a lot of learning, but I wouldn't change it."
Wilcox has played setter for most of her volleyball career. She's playing outside hitter this season, and also is working all six rotations.
"She's doing a lot of serve-receive, a lot of setting and a lot of hitting," Johnson said. "We've been running a bit of a funkier rotation, but it's working for us right now.
"I've only been able to see her this summer and this fall, but she plays pretty well and always plays hard."
Wilcox has been swinging aggressively when she goes on the attack. That has been a welcomed sight for Johnson because many new hitters are timid.
"We needed some offensive power, and she fell into both roles and have been running with them ever since," Johnson said.
Wilcox was accustomed to strictly playing setter. She had to get comfortable with playing all six rotations, she said.
"Varsity is a really high-paced game, and you have to know what you're doing in every moment," she said. "I had to get used to playing all the way around. My presence can help bring up the energy and let everyone know the game isn't over until the last point. We can always come back."
Wilcox's move has given her new appreciation for the sets she delivers to her hitters. Spending some time hitting the ball has made her a better setter.
"I can tell where our hitters' frustration comes from now," Wilcox said. "You have to know the players you're setting. I take it seriously, but I see it from the hitter's point of view now.
"Not every set it going to be perfect, but you have to make each one as good as possible and realize different hitters like the ball in different places."
Wilcox is sharing team captain duties with classmate Amya Smith, but Wilcox is the Bison's floor captain.
"When I make mistakes, I still have to be a leader and not let it get to me," Wilcox said. "I have to bring them back up and show them that even though it's a serious game you can still have fun. Having fun on the court is the biggest thing. If you're not having fun, why are you even out there?"
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Jeremiah Johnke is the WyoSports editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 307-633-3137. Follow him on X at @jjohnke.