The Friday Harbor volleyball team will start the 2013 season with a number of assets on its side.
But a wealth of experience won’t be one of them.
“We’re young,” said Head Coach Travis Mager, now in his 9th year at the helm. “It might take a little time until we get our feet under ourselves. But our team chemistry is very good.”
Chemistry, camaraderie, feistiness and a thirst for competition, Mager said those qualities stand out as hallmarks of this year’s squad. Although young overall, the players possess a collective grit that defies their age and should serve them well as they adapt to a higher level of competition in the season’s early stages.
“This team plays a lot more scrappy than some of others we’ve had.”
That scrappiness has carried over from last year’s team. The 2012 senior-laden varsity squad finished the regular season with a winning record a year ago, at 9-8, one of the best won-loss marks in recent memory for the Friday Harbor volleyball program. They ended the season in a three-way tie for third place in league play.
But that was then.
Only two players from last year’s starting rotation are back in the lineup, and only one senior, Kendra Meeker. She’ll be joined both by first-ever varsity senior Amy Schimdt and by front-line players Allie Galt, a second-year starter who will be recuperating from an ankle injury early on, and by junior Maddie Williamson, who sat most of the last season with an ankle injury of her own.
Making the most of spirit and spunk will be all important for the 2013 Wolverines, with a roster that will rely on five sophomores to fill the gaps. While experience may be in short supply, the Wolverines do have numbers. Both the varsity and junior varsity teams will have depth, as 21 girls turned out to play. And the success of last year’s team offers a tantalizing recipe for this year’s squad to follow.
The Wolverines open a 14-game regular-season schedule on the road, Sept. 12, against Northwest 1A/2B League rival Orcas Island. They face Division 1A foe Mount Baker, a potential playoff opponent, in their Sept. 24 home opener.
Mager will be counting on competitiveness and chemistry to help the young Wolverines achieve another successful season.
“We may not be as talented or as athletic as some but this team likes to compete,” he said.