DHS senior Ali Moody has been called upon to be more versatile this seasonDickinson High senior Ali Moody has taken on more responsibilities this season.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Dickinson High senior Ali Moody has taken on more responsibilities this season.
She’s collecting kills, directing traffic and being a vocal leader on the court.
The Midgets volleyball team’s 5-foot-11 senior setter is highly regarded by her coaches and teammates as the catalyst that keeps the offense moving.
“You’d love to have six of those versatile players on the floor at all times,” Dickinson head coach Jay Schobinger said. “She’s a very good volleyball player. She understands the game and she’s been a great leader.”
Moody has had an inside look at the game since she was a little kid.
Her father is former Dickinson State head volleyball coach Dave Moody, who coached the Blue Hawks for 18 seasons and won the school’s first national championship in 2000.
“It’s nice,” Ali Moody said. “Most of the things I know are from him and if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be the player I am today.”
Last year, she was a full-time setter, but this season she started making the transition to outside hitter in some rotations and has flourished as an attacker while also coming up big defensively.
Moody was able to move positions thanks to the growth of junior setter Madison Schobinger. But, less than a month into the season, the Midgets hit a bump in the road.
A wrist injury put Madison Schobinger’s left arm in a cast.
The question concerning Jay Schobinger and the rest of the coaching staff is whether Moody will be a full-time setter again or if they should insert another setter into the mix.
“We don’t know,” Jay Schobinger said. “That’s what this weekend is all about. We are going to find out. We feel we’re a better team when we get Ali hitting offensively instead of having her as a setter, when she has to dump and tip to get some offense out of her.”
Dickinson has already started fiddling around with new lineup variations in time for the 32-team Dickinson High Invitational, which starts Friday at the DHS gymnasium.
“We know that we have a lot of different combinations and that we can still be really good,” Moody said.
When she is dishing the ball to the middle and outside hitters, there is a plethora of talent to go around. Dickinson senior middle hitter Taylor Cooper said Moody does a great job disturbing the ball at each hitter on the floor.
“She controls the floor and she tells us what to do,” Cooper said. “We always look to her when we are struggling. She picks our team back up and she’s a good leader.”
Offensively, the Midgets have options in seniors Cooper, Abby Grove, Rachel Schroeder and Hanna Beaudoin. The junior class includes Sierra Rohr, Sydney Gangl and Keely Hutchens.
“If Abby is out or she’s in the back row, we still have Rachel or Hanna in the front row to put the ball down,” Cooper said. “We have all-around good hitters. It’s nice that we don’t have just one strong rotation.”
Whether Moody plays at setter or outside hitter, it doesn’t really matter to her. She just wants to be out on the floor.
“I’ve hit outside before, when I was a freshman and on JV,” Moody said. “It doesn’t really matter where I play.”
The Midgets have started the season with 10-3 overall record, including a perfect 6-0 start against West Region teams. Jay Schobinger said this tournament allows teams to tune up areas before the remainder of the season.
“Usually when you come in here, you are trying to solidify things a little bit,” he said. “For us now with the injury, we’re going to try some new things. In that aspect, we’re maybe a little behind.
“We’ve got a good group of kids and they adjust and adapt to things we ask them to do.”