EHHS girls’ volleyball team makes transition
By Frances Taylor - ReminderNews
East Hartford - posted Wed., Sep. 5, 2012
With a new coach and new team captains, the East Hartford High School girls’ varsity volleyball is in a transition year. The team has only two players returning from last season, and most of the team has risen from the ranks of the junior varsity team.
Coach Martin Martinez, who was coach of the JV team last year, is now head coach of the varsity team. “We are looking good right now – for the last couple of weeks they have been learning new offense and defense positions,” Martinez said. “Most of our team moved up from JV, so we are young team.”
Team captains this year are Britney Rodriguez and Shannon Walsh. “If they can assume their leadership roles and the team follows them, we will do well,” Martinez added. “There is a lot of athleticism on this team, which also makes a difference. If they work hard and follow the leadership, they will be successful.”
Rodriguez, who is the setter for the team, is temporarily on the sidelines after spraining her ankle in a recent game. She said that she and Shannon Walsh will lead the team by setting a good example of commitment for the rest of the team. “We’re a lot more organized this year, and the coach pushes us harder,” Rodriguez said. “We cheer each other on and make sure people are comfortable in their positions.”
“And if someone is having a bad day, it’s up to someone else to step up,” Walsh said.
The movement of some many players from JV also brings up players from team that won more games last season than the varsity team. “We were 14-4, last year,” the coach said.
Kaysha Staples, who is in her first season on the varsity team, said the team is playing well together. “We’ve been on the same court with each for the past couple of years,” Staples said.
The goal this year is to make it the state finals. Martinez said he always tells the team their motto is “play hard to 25” – the score needed to win the game. “I think if helped make the JV team a winning team,” he said, adding that they are bringing the same sprit to the varsity ranks.