The girls varsity volleyball team is well on their way to a successful season this fall. While last year went very well, with the exception of a few difficulties in the postseason, head coach Adrienne Stack is confident that this year’s team has the potential to do even better.
“We had a very strong season last year,” Stack said. “We won two back to back tournaments, we had some really big wins, but then we didn’t progress as far as I would have liked in counties. So I think moving forward in counties, at a minimum the semis would be really good for the program.”
One of the team’s greatest advantages coming into the season is the healthy mix of different grade levels, with two freshman, two sophomores, six juniors and four seniors making up this year’s roster. The composition is well-balanced, with both new talent and veteran players to round out the team, making it very competitive.
“Last year we graduated a lot of seniors who were key players on our team, so what we’re looking to do is fill those spots and build the confidence of the new players,” team captain Isabella Hurtado said.
The two freshman on the varsity roster, Adelina Berisha and Kaelie Chung, both of whom earned their spots on the team by playing volleyball outside of school for years.
“I think what makes [the team composition] so great is that it breeds competition among them, so that you’re always trying to prove your worth on the court,” coach Stack said. “Not in a negative way, but you have to earn your spot. I have always said every year that your grade level, your class does not matter, it’s what your talent level is that determines how much playing time you get. I think it works out for them.”
This year’s team also hopes to improve its teamwork and coordination, which is often the deciding factor for wins later in the season.
“I think when we play as one cohesive unit we are incredibly successful and very aggressive on the ball,” Stack said. “I think that’s something we’re still working on. We start to forget that it’s six people playing as one and not six people playing as six.”
The girls are looking to improve from last year, which was successful for the most part, with some minor room for growth. In 2016, the team had a 10-9 record, and was able to record 103 aces, 688 service points, 318 kills, 298 assists, 62 blocks and 421 digs over the course of the season.
With new talent being coached by some more experienced veterans, the varsity volleyball team is optimistic that this season will be a good one for the Raiders.