Graduation wasn't kind to the Carson High volleyball team.
The Senators lost eight players, including top hitter Sarah Luschna. The only returnees with significant varsity experience are four-year setter Courtney Hack and libero Brooklyn Maw.
Hack and Maw are joined by middle blocker Kammy Forrest, right-side hitter/setter McKenzie Price, setter Courtney Hack, libero/left-side hitter Savannah Smith, outside hitter Yana Spence, left-side hitter/setter Danielle Good, middle blocker Cameron Sievers, libero Marilyn Gomez, middle blocker Gabby Palazzolo, outside hitter Julianna Anderson, middle blockr Kaitlyn Jimmy and left-side hitter Marlenne Quirarte, who didn't play last season.
Despite the heavy losses from a team that went 11-12 last year, coach Robert Maw sees this team making the Division 1 playoffs.
"I anticipate being in the playoffs," Maw said. "That's our goal."
Maw will get an early look at how is team is progressing when it travels to Las Vegas next Friday and Saturday to open the season.
Instead of trying to succeed with power, however, the young Senators will rely on blocking and keeping the ball in play.
"Our strength is not going to be hitting," Maw said. "It will be the defense. For us it will be about ball control and placement. I'll take that any day over power. We're going to mix it up this year."
Maw is expecting Price (226 assists, 20 kills, 21 blocks) and Forrest (18 kills, 13 blocks) to take on bigger roles this year
"McKenzie and Kammy were not starters a year ago," Maw said. "We're trying to get them ready (for bigger roles) as fast as we can. I expect them to step up. Both spent a lot of time with Courtney (Hack) trying to get in sync with her and develop a hitter-setter relationship.
"We have two right-side hitters (Price and Hack) that are left-handed. We get to attack the other team's setters and make them play defense."
Hack led the team with 342 assists, 52 digs and 10 kills.
Smith, Quirarte and Good will handle the left side. Spence is up from the JV quad and Anderson is a freshman.
Smith had seven kills after being called up from the JV squad last year. She saw acion more as a defensive specialist.
"I put her at outside hitter, and she's highly skilled and very quick," Maw said. "She's starting to hit well."
Good rotated between JV and varsity last season. Her versatility will be a big help to the Senators.
Behind Forrest at middle blocker are basketball standout Cameron Sievers, Jimmy and Palazzolo, a freshman.
"Gabby will see significant time as a second or third hitter," Maw said. "She's been a club player for three or four years. She's showing a good understanding of the game."
Maw said having Anderson and Palazzolo on varsity will give them much-needed experience and get them used to the speed of the game.