Volleyball team setting goals high, starting strong
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Thu., Sep. 15, 2011
Despite losing six players to graduation last year, the Glastonbury High School girls’ varsity volleyball team still has a wealth of veteran players, with six seniors and 11 juniors on the court. During the pre-season practices and scrimmages, and after a decisive, three-set win (25-9, 25-14, 25-11) over Manchester in the first match of this fall’s campaign, coach Tracey Hollenbaugh said she likes what she’s seeing from her team.
“I think we’re going to be very strong at the net,” Hollenbaugh said, “but we’re playing really strong defense, too.”
Senior outside hitter Ashley Flock delivered an unstoppable smash that scored the victory-clinching point in the Manchester match on Sept. 13. Hollenbaugh said that was indicative of the talent and depth she has on her squad.
“Ashley’s going to be a force at the net, and we’re really deep at every spot. The hardest part is going to be choosing who plays,” Hollenbaugh said. “It’s a blessing to have, but I truly feel that this is the first time I’ve ever had a team that is deep all the way across. I can put anybody in, and it wouldn’t take our level of play down. It’s certainly exciting.”
One way the team can improve will be to hopefully earn more aces. “We can always improve, like serving tough, not just serving over,” Hollenbaugh said. “Really picking people apart with the serve and being able to direct it anywhere they want - they’re getting there.”
There are certainly tests ahead for the Tomahawks, with some games against perennially-strong programs looming. “Bristol Eastern [on Sept. 23] will be tough,” Hollenbaugh said. “They’re a similar team to us - tenacious, and we’re going to have to play well against them. When we go to RHAM [on Oct. 14], that’s going to be a really big game, too.”
Hollenbaugh also chose a match vs. Fitch – a school Glastonbury wouldn’t normally play – to test her team further. “I wanted to toughen up my schedule, to get us ready for the state tournament,” she said.
Obviously, hopes are high. “We’ve got a lot of good chemistry within this team,” Hollenbaugh said. “Once in a lifetime you have that group that comes along, and I think it’s this year.”