By Charlton Azuoma
Although the girls’ varsity volleyball team lost 11 seniors, the squad, led by captains Sofia Davila ’12, Katie Price ’12 and Lucy Tilton ’12, is confident that the team hasn’t skipped a beat and can stay dominant in the Mission League, Head Coach Adam Black said. The team starts its season today against Santa Barbara in Taper Gymnasium.
“[Our captains] will be pulling us in the right direction this year,” Black said. “Everyyear is a new year. I’m not sure if there is a void, it’s just a new team.” The three senior leaders are the only returning players from last year’s team which started its season ranked 20th in the nation by Maxpreps.com.
In order to cope with the loss of more experienced players, the team has group meetings after practices without their coaches to talk about what could be improved.
Tilton feels that because of the player-loss, younger girls will have to take on larger roles.
“Seniors this year know they have to step up,” she said. “We will put it apon the younger girls to step up themselves.”
Middle hitter Arielle Winfield ’13 agrees with Tilton and feels younger players need to ste up.
“The juniors have been working really hard because we all knew that the seniors were all going to be leaving after the season,” Winfield said.
The team will be welcoming the return of hitter Victoria Pearson ’12 as she returns to school after an academic year abroad in Spain. She did not play on a competitive volleyball team during her year abroad. Coach Black feels her year away from competitive volleyball will not affect her play on the team this year.
“She’s meshing well with the team,” Black said. “She’s a great individual and has picked up where she left off.”
The team’s next game is tomorrow against Redondo Union at Redondo Union High School at 6:30 p.m.
Their most noteworthy game is against Marymount who won the Division I CIF title last season, according to setter Bea DyBuncio ’13.
DyBuncio believes the team’s other tough game this year will be against Lakewood on homecoming, both games in Taper Gym.
“[The Marymount game] will be big because we have both been successful teams for a long time,” DyBuncio said.