Girls volleyball team getting ready for season opener in October

After taking first place at regionals last year, the girls volleyball team is setting up for another competitive season. With seven out of 11 players returning and a roster of strong hitters, co-coaches Shelley Powers and Brian Herman are looking forward to watching the Lady Wolves thrive on the court this year.

"We have a very well-rounded team," said Powers, who played college volleyball for two years at North Idaho College. "A lot of the girls are coming in with natural abilities. It's a great start to move forward with."

Her goals for the season include winning regions again, developing the girls' all-around abilities and instilling good sportsmanship on and off the court.

"It seems like ... they were stronger than they were last year," added Herman. "The attitude in the gym is that they're going to be a competitive team."

Sophomore Christina Johnson and junior Aubrey Wynne spent much of the summer honing their skills. "I had open gyms this summer and those two were at almost every single one of them," said Herman. Johnson is a strong setter and Wynne is a great left-handed all-around player - both girls' hard work is already paying off at preseason practices.

However, the entire team is full of strong servers who will be able to "put teams on their heels really fast by serving tough," he said. This offensive ability is "going to be a really good asset."

The defensive side, however, is one area that the coaches plan to focus on this season.

At practice, Herman and Powers are drilling the girls on blocking, passing and increasing the pace of the team's play. Herman has coached club and high school volleyball in Arizona since 2006 and aims to "bring a little bit faster approach to the game," he said, so that opponents can't guess where the ball is about to go. "I've been able to do it with teams with less athletic ability than what I'm dealing with here in Wrangell."

Practices started Sept. 6 as the team prepares for its first away games in Klawock Oct. 20-22. They will travel to Petersburg Oct. 27-28, then to Haines Nov. 3-5 and then to Petersburg again Nov. 10-11. No home games have been scheduled for the season so far.

The Southeast regional competition will also be held in Petersburg Nov. 16-18 and the state championship will take place in Palmer from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2.


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