Volleyball season preview: Young Carson High team ready to make their mark
A lack of height has forced Carson High volleyball coach Robert Maw to change the way he will attack people this year.
“We¹re lacking (height and firepower) in the middle,” said Maw as he prepares his team for its season-opening tournament in Carmichael, Calif., in early September.
“We’re young, but good. The kids have a lot of club experience.
“We’re really quick and have a lot of speed, so I¹m going to take advantage of that. We’ve changed how we¹re going to attack. We don’t have any powerful hitters. The kids have bought in. We’re working very hard to pick up the new offense.”
Maw has brought up last year¹s libero, Jaycie Roberts, to be the left-side hitter. She will team up with returnees Allison Kibbe and Juliana Anderson plus newcomers Keelin Pilgrim and Arianna Schmidt.
Anderson led the team with 210 kills last year and added 52 digs. Kibbe added 48 kills, 10 aces and 19 digs. Roberts had 288 digs, eight assists and 21 aces.
“Jaycie was one of the top 100 freshmen last year,” Maw said. “She is one of the reasons why we’re doing this. We couldn’t do this if Makenzie Tucker, who we¹re moving to libero, wasn’t coming along.
“I’m looking for more consistency from Julianna, especially in passing. I’m talking about serve receive and getting the ball to the setter. Allison has to be able to (be effective) passing. We lose a little without Jaycie (at libero), so the other girls have to make up for it.”
Tucker had 33 aces, 78 digs and 14 assists in part-time varsity stints a year ago.
Maddie Jergensen, a transfer from Fernley, leads the contingent at middle blocker. Katherine Matuska, Kylie Riske and Maya Vasquez also are battling for playing time. Riske had four digs, eight aces, 38 assists and 51 kills last season.
The Senators suffered a big setback in the off-season when Gaby Palazzolo suffered a season-ending knee injury during club volleyball. She suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
Setting responsibilities fall to freshman Natalie Anderson, who is considered one of the top prospects in the nation. She will be backed up by returnee Sarah Christl, who will also serve as a back-row player. Christl had 22 digs, 35 assists and 17 aces a year ago.
“Natalie is coming along,” Maw said. “She is one of the top freshmen in the nation.” According to Maw, Anderson is already involved in the Olympic Development Program.
With only one senior on this year’s team, Maw is encouraged by what’s in store for the program. He admits this team may be a year away.
“I think we will be competitive this year,” Maw said. “It will take a while to get used to this offense; get a good grip of it.
“Our ceiling is high. The girls are excited about the new offense. They see what it can do. I think by next season we have a chance to go to state.”