FA volleyball preview

PREVIEW: VARSITY VOLLEYBALL

Head Coach: Gloria Verrill, third year

Assistant Coach: Ryan Shible, first year. Played volleyball at Mt. Blue High School, and worked as an assistant volleyball coach at the University of Maine at Farmington.

Key returning players: Seniors Kat Merrill and Allison Clark; junior Kelsey Winslow.

Top newcomers: Several freshman look promising, “which is great as they will provide our team with more depth as we head into this year’s new season,” Coach Verrill said. “We are excited to have them, and excited about the level of commitment to the team by all of the players. We’re going to have good team chemistry this season, a key component to a successful season.”

Top newcomers are Danielle LaPointe and Allison Morse.

Players to watch: Several players with two seasons of experience return. The Lakers lost one setter, but Emma Walker, who is expected to play a key role in the LR offense, returns. Strong hitters include Kat Merrill, Kelsey Winslow and Allison Clark.

Strengths: “We have a strong core of returning players and the newcomers are working hard to learn the game and become skilled players,” Coach Verrill said. “I am hopeful we will have a successful season if the girls continue to work hard at practice to learn the skills they need to be competitive.”

Weaknesses: It will be a tough first season playing a Class A varsity schedule. “Many of the teams we will compete against have strong squads that have been competing for several years,” Coach Verrill said. “This is our first year playing a varsity schedule. It will be a challenge trying to find the right mix of girls to make our team competitive. Positive team chemistry is the key to our success.”

Based on what you’ve seen thus far, what are you most encouraged by? Coaches Shible and Verrill are most encouraged by the effort the girls have put into each practice, thus far. “If they continue to work equally hard throughout the season, we will have a successful season,” Coach Verrill said.

Three keys to the season? Work hard, be competitive, and use good communication.

Three goals? Further develop team chemistry, improve passing skills, improve serving skills and serve placement skills.

Season opener: The Lakers open Saturday at Scarborough for a 10:30 a.m. match. The home opener is Tuesday, Sept. 6 against Falmouth at 6:30 p.m.

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