Last season was a mixed year for volleyball as the Falcons 7-8 record shows; the girls had lost a fairly accomplished group of seniors the previous June, so Coach Tim Durbin promoted several girls up from JV.
“We have a solid group of underclassmen returning for next year,” Durbin said. “The sky could be the limit. Allison Wood, Lindsey Newman and Nichole Zalewski are my returning players and they should provide some great leadership since they all started most of last year.”
Newman was the best passer with a 1.75 rating, 63 kills and 96 digs, while Wood made 76 kills, 61 digs and 27 stuff blocks.
Mary Jane Daumen and Amanda Spalding are the only seniors, but neither played last year.
“Mary Jane has value as an outside hitter and both of them are showing good leadership talents,” the coach said.
Newman knows what the team needs to work on.
“Passing,” she said. “We’re improving every day but we struggled last year in passing and hitting.”
Newman added that the girls have been coming in for early workouts on their own. “We’re good friends, too, and that helps. We want to have a winning season.”
So does their coach.
“Lindsey’s right; if we want to gain on last year we need to pass better,” Durbin said.
Durbin expects his players to have a strong work ethic.
“In this game, you need to move fast all the time; no half-speed measures,” he said. “We have enough good solid players but hard work and good communications are really important.”
Durbin praised the conditioning of this year’s players.
But, he cautioned, even a great athlete needs the right skills.
“That’s if they want to perform at an elite level,” the coach said. “Footwork and the right approach to the net can be critical for the middle and outside hitters. This sport is not as easy at it looks.”
Kings currently is spotted in first place (14-0 last season) with Archbishop Murphy (12-2) and Cedarcrest (10-4) vying for the second spot.
“The two private schools have the luxury of re-loading after a class graduates,” Durbin said.
At this point, he feels the Falcons can compete with Granite Falls, with Sultan and Coupeville finishing at the bottom of the conference.
Saturday, the team travels to the Meridian Invite.
At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11, the team welcomes Coupeville and the beginning of Cascade conference action.