Volleyball has long been a family affair for Palisade High School coach Wendy MacAskill.

Lately that has been more literal for the 12th-year coach.

Her two daughters, Alexandra and Kendyl, grew up in the Bulldogs' program. For two seasons, they got to suit up together for their mother's program.

"My girls have always been a part of the program with me, from the time they were babies," Wendy said. "Now, they're just old enough to wear jerseys. There definitely are challenges (to coaching daughters), but it's also very gratifying when we've been able to celebrate things together."

Alexandra was a standout for Palisade and now plays for Adams State University in Alamosa.

With her best outside hitter continuing her athletic career at the next level, Wendy had to get creative this offseason to fill the gap.

Her solution? Moving Kendyl, now a junior, from her primary role as setter to a role that involves a lot more hitting.

"When we were looking at our team makeup this year, it became apparent really early on that we needed to increase our depth in the hitting position," Wendy said. "We gave (Kendyl) a chance at that role and she filled it well and has continued to contribute to the team in that way."

Last season, Kendyl had 85 kills, 79 blocks, 244 digs and 650 of the Bulldogs' 744 assists. What's a little role expansion on top of that?

This season, Palisade (15-8) is in prime position for a playoff berth.

The Bulldogs are No. 18 in the Class 4A RPI, which most likely will result in them making the 36-team postseason field. The regional pairings will be announced Monday.

A big reason for that success is Kendyl's adjustment to her busier role.

This season, she leads the team in kills (246) and blocks (117), is second in assists (249) and third in digs (204).

"I was pretty settled in as a setter," Kendyl said. "I've never played a hitter on any of my teams, club or high school, so I'm really enjoying it this year … I think it definitely makes the game more challenging, especially having to be learning the new position at the same time.

"But I find it a lot of fun to be able to be more aggressive through hitting and not just setting."

The Bulldogs ended their regular season in the Coal Ridge Tournament on Saturday, which means the postseason awaits. That doesn't mean Kendyl isn't thinking about her future on the court.

She could fill the same duties next season as a senior — contributing as both a hitter and a setter — but there's no guarantee that will be the case.

"We really take it year by year with personnel changes and the players each grow in different areas of their game in the offseason," the Bulldogs' coach said.

"We'll just have to reevaluate that next year and see where the pieces of the puzzle fit best together for our team next year."

Kendyl added, "I'd probably say setting is still my favorite, but I'm really, really enjoying the opportunity to hit. I'd be excited if I was given the opportunity to hit again next year."

Like Alexandra, Kendyl hopes Palisade isn't the end of the road for her time on the court. She's early in the recruiting process, but the interest is certainly there.

"I've been talking to some D-I and D-II coaches," Kendyl said. "I'm really excited to see where and how far that process goes."

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