Central senior Kylie Nash looks on during the Panthers’ match against West Salem on Thursday evening.
Photo by Lukas Eggen.
INDEPENDENCE — Central senior Kylie Nash isn’t a fan of downtime.
From volleyball in the fall to basketball in the winter and softball in the spring, Nash isn’t one to enjoy idle time.
“I definitely couldn’t see myself dropping a sport,” Nash said. “I need to be in sports. It keeps me busy.”
As she enters her final season with the Panthers, Nash is focused on enjoying the present.
“It’s not much different (than previous seasons),” Nash said. “It’s still varsity. It makes it fun and helps me lead even more because they see me in a leading role more so than in my younger years.”
As Central’s setter, Nash finds herself at the center of running the Panthers’ offense, a role the senior has thrived in.
“I understand more of the game,” Nash said. “I understand when to (tip the ball over), when to use my teammates. Coach (Claudine Mendazona) lets me run the free ball plays.”
Just as important as Nash’s understanding of the X’s and O’s is her relationship with her teammates — something the Panthers have worked on since the season began.
“A lot of it starts in practice,” Nash said. “We run hitting lines during practice to start building the chemistry because a match is no time to start building that. Coach understands that and is giving us the time to build that.”
Nash’s role in Central’s scheme requires her to put teammates in good spots.
“Every ball needs to be put in the court, whether or not it’s a bad pass or set,” Nash said. “We need to put it on their side of the court so they can make the errors, not us.”
The Panthers began Mid-Willamette Conference play against South Albany Tuesday after press time. As Central prepares for its match at Dallas on Thursday, the Central’s chemistry could be the deciding factor.
“We have to put balls away and put people in the right position,” Mendazona said. “We weren’t strong at blocking at the net (on Thursday). We have to be better at that.”
Nash will likely play a major role in the Panthers’ improvement.
As Central begins league play, Nash isn’t putting too much pressure on herself.
Instead, she’s enjoying the ride.
“I want to experience every moment I can, and I’m trying to improve my game even more,” Nash said.