When the Jayettes volleyball team sets up this season they will be doing it with a new coach at the helm and a crop of new senior leaders.


Last season’s freshman volleyball coach John Fulton takes over the reigns of former varsity coach Kristel Kautzky-Schultz.


Schultz, who this year will be teaching at St. Augustin Catholic School as well as logging 250 administrative internship hours, finished her three-year career at Perry with an overall 38-66 record.


Now in his sixth season coaching volleyball -third as a head coach, Fulton is confident in his ability to lead this team to the next level after learning numerous invaluable lessons from his predecessor.


“Coach Schultz did an excellent job stressing fundamentals and that is something that we will look to continue to build on,” Fulton said. Coach K [Schultz] definitely laid a good foundation for a program and we know that we want to keep that tradition of disciplined and fundamentally sound teams going.”


In order for the 2017-2018 squad to advance further into the postseason, Fulton will be relying heavily on the leadership of his returning seniors.


“We have a great group of seniors coming back that all have varsity experience and we will look at some underclassmen to fill those spots missing by our graduating seniors, especially in the middle and outside hitters,” he said.


Johanna Diw, Isabel Saemisch, Sidney Vancil and Sydney Guerra will be tasked on leading the less experienced players.


Those four have great volleyball IQs and will do anything we ask of them, which will make our coaching a lot easier, boasted the coach.


As experienced as some of his Jayettes’ players are the new head coach realized the importance of building a strong coaching staff.


We have brought in two great assistant coaches, Paige Wilkin, Central and Mackenzie Felt, Indian Hills/Central Missouri, who both have college experience, according to Fulton. In addition Carol VanKirk who brings with her a ton of experience will be there to help in any capacity necessary.


“These coaches are great to work with and they are a huge asset for our girls,” Fulton said.


Last season the Jayettes finished with an overall 8-23 record and were served up in the first round by Raccoon River Conference rivals the Lady Jays of Bondurant-Farrar.


“We haven’t really sat down as a group and discussed win-loss records or anything like that but we want teams to earn wins against us if they do beat us and beat the teams we should beat,” Fulton said.


Just like so many coaches, Fulton would love to see his team compete at the state level but realistically he wants the Jayettes to limit mistakes and play quick fundamentally sound volleyball.


“I love these girls willingness to compete and get better day in and day out,” Fulton said. “Our goal this year is to compete.”