In one way the 2013 season will be one of learning for the Weston High volleyball team.
With so many players who do not have a lot of experience at the varsity level the Trojans have a lot of things to work on to get ready for their opening match. Several pre-season scrimmages will give them the opportunity to monitor their progress.
“The girls worked hard in the off-season,” said first-year head coach Mackenzie Moosbrugger. “They’re excited about playing together at the varsity level.”
Weston will have 28 girls in the program, which includes varsity and JV teams. It has a large freshman class in particular, numbering 10, which will help in a few years.
A technology teacher at Weston High, Moosbrugger is already familiar with the team, having served as an assistant coach for the last two years. She succeeds former head coach Jamie Charles, who led the team for 10 seasons and numerous South-West Conference and state Class M tournament appearances before stepping down.
The Trojans did quite well in Charles’ last season as head coach. With a 14-2 league record they finished in third place in the SWC regular- season standings. Qualifying for the league playoffs, they reached the finals for the first time before losing to Joel Barlow.
Weston once again went far in the Class M tournament, getting to the semifinals before losing to eventual champ Ledyard to finish at 17-4 overall.
However, Weston graduated nine players since then, many of them starters. Two were former captains Savannah Carpenter and Sydney Weiss.
An All-State and All-SWC selection, Carpenter was an outside hitter. Weiss saw time at setter.
Weston also lost Taylor Swanson, who was recovering from knee surgery for part of the season before returning as a setter and was named an All-Patriot Division selection. Middle hitters Fran Holmes and Anna Hengelbrok, both All-Patriot selections, have also graduated.
Justine Belport (All-SWC honorable mention), Kelly Babcock, Katie Antonovich and Tori Zaharoff have also graduated.
“We’re starting brand new, from scratch,” said Moobrugger. “Graduating nine seniors and starting with girls who don’t have a lot of playing time gives us the opportunity to make the team the way we want it.”
Weston will have a small senior class this season with five players. Leading the way are captains Dana Mitchell and Liza Rosenbloom.
Mitchell will be a middle hitter and Rosenbloom is a setter. Classmate Kerri Noble is an outside hitter.
Candidates for the back court are Emily Castro and Megan Robinson.
From the junior class is middle hitter Celia Crum. Also back is outsider hitter Nina Nickel.
Sophomore Amy Lautenslager could also see varsity time. Backup setter Becca Marks sprained her wrist but should be back next week.
“It’s a young team,” Moosbrugger. “We have a lot of potential.”
Weston starts the season on Tuesday at Stamford in a non-league match at 4 p.m.