This year the Pirate volleyball team had a strong showing at tryouts and early season practices with 43 girls out for the team.
The team this year will be led by several strong, returning veteran players, including Brooklyn DuCharme, Gabby Pajak and Katie Armbrecht. Seniors Leslie Baughman, Natasha Medici and Kelsy Sellers are also back this year.
“This group of girls is enthusiastic,” says Coach Connie O’Donnell, who is returning for her second year as head coach. The enthusiasim, positive attitude and tenancity of the girls, O’Donnell says, are the team’s strongest asset for this season.
In regards to strategy, O’Donnell says the outside hitting is looking strong all-round. Though, to boost defense, Angie Gallegos might be used as a libero.
According to O’Donnell, the first part of the season is stacked with tough non-league matches against Durango, Cortez and Farmington.
As for Intermountain League games, O’Donnell says a lot of the girls in the league graduated last year, so the Pirates’ chance depends somewhat on the quality of their replacements.
Although this year still might be one in which the program works to rebuild the team, O’Donnell anticipates some tight games. “Especially with the (team’s) good attitude, we could do really well,” O’Donnell says.
The first match will be Sept. 1, at Cortez.
The following are this season’s home matches:
Sept. 6 vs. Durango.
Sept. 10 vs. Sangre De Cristo.
Sept. 16 vs. Dolores.
Sept. 17 vs. Aztec.
Sept. 24 vs. Centauri.
Sept. 27 vs. Bayfield.
Oct. 13 vs. Alamosa.
Oct. 20 vs. Monte Vista.