The brains behind girls volleyball

Head coach of girls volleyball reviews tough preseason

By Karshin Gupta

he varsity girls volleyball team opened their season with nine losses and only one win. The season began with four losses at the Independence High tournament, then continued with losses against Bay Area powerhouses Saint Francis, Presentation, Harker, and San Benito.

“We played the toughest teams in California. Saint Francis is 4th in the state, Presentation is top ten in the U.S., Harker should win the league. San Benito is the best in division 1. Bottom line is, trial by fire,” third year varsity head coach Gary Carroll said.

Last season, the team made a respectable CCS finals run, but ultimately lost to Menlo Atherton in the finals. Carroll associates this season’s bumpy start partly with the graduation of last year’s seniors.

“[Last season] we had mature senior mental toughness. The difference really is the mental game. No starters from last year are starting this year.” Carroll said.

Under more favorable conditions, a varsity team’s roster boasts a plethora of experienced seniors and juniors. However, this season’s roster holds only six seniors and two juniors, along with six sophomores and a freshman.

Despite the losing record, Carroll is not worried about the upcoming season.

“We’re a good serving team, we have tremendous potential in our youth. Serve receive has been respectable, it’s keeping us in games, and our defense has been decent,” Carroll said in regards to preseason.

As a younger team, less experienced players are going to need to step into roles normally filled by older athletes. The team is also going to rely heavily on stellar performances from seniors Celine Lee, Amanda Telfer and Sofia Olsson, according to Carroll.

As far as placement in the league is concerned, Carroll believes that despite the struggles, top placement in the De Anza Athletic League is likely. There are no real expectations on wins and losses, rather to learn to win, be confident, and compete in every set.

“I don’t really have any expectations on wins and losses,” Carroll said, “I have expectations on better, faster, stronger. That’s all I preach. Because when you focus on that, the wins will come.”