It turned out to be a pretty good season for the Exeter girls' volleyball team last year. After finishing 11-3 in the Berks League, they advanced on to the Berks playoffs before losing to Holy Name in the quarterfinals, 3-0.In order for this year's squad to equal the performance of last year's team, some of the younger players are going to have to contribute quickly.
"We have a young team this year and we will be looking to overcome our inexperience," said Exeter girls' volleyball head coach Jason Grove.
"This is one of the most talented groups of girls I have coached, but right now we need to be a little more cohesive before we become a championship contender again."
One of the key players the Eagles will have to replace is Ami Killinger who graduated last year. She was one of the top players in the league during her time at Exeter.
The good news is that they do have several returning players that did see some significant playing time last year.
Among those players are: Mary Faust, sophomore setter; Mary Hennessy, Sophomore outside hitter; Christie Seitz, senior outside hitter; Helen Trimble, junior middle hitter; and Sam Jarsocrak, defensive specialist.
That's only two seniors in that group, but despite the team's youth, they will come into the season with some experience which gives Grove reason to be optimistic.
"I think it's very possible that we can outperform last year's team," said Grove. "The group of girls coming to varsity only lost two matches as JV players over the last two seasons."
Some of those players include: Kady Faller, freshman outside hitter; Sara Scheirer, junior opposite; Emily Reeser, junior defensive specialist; and Sabrina Schmehl, junior outside hitter.
With some quality younger players on the team, depth will not be a problem for Grove. "We have very solid players at every position and the trick for me is finding a line-up that works well," said the coach."
The first obvious goal for the Lady Eagles is to make the Berks League playoffs, something the team has accomplished for eight straight seasons. "Beyond that, we'll take it match by match," said Grove.
Also obvious is that the team would like to improve on last year's performance when they went out in the Berks quarterfinals. Despite the fact that the Lady Eagles were 11-3 in league play, they did not qualify for the district playoffs. That's something for the team to shoot for this year.
It will be a challenge for this team. They graduated six seniors that started on last year's team so there will be a lot of new faces in the staring line-up.
So a lot will depend on how quickly the younger players mature, and how quickly they learn to play as a team.
"In order for us to be successful this year, we need to pass better as a team," said Grove. "We have a talented setter and attackers, but unless our passing improves, we won't be able to utilize our offensive abilities."