Flexibility will be important to the 2012 Weston High varsity volleyball team once the season gets underway.
The Trojans are still waiting for one key player in their lineup to recover from an injury. Until then they have been busy making a few adjustments.
The good news is they have plenty of talented returning players with which to work.
“It’s nice to have a lot of seniors with experience,” said 10th year head coach Jamie Charles, whose team started practice last week. “We have a lot of talent coming back.”
Such will also help a lot in the pre-season, which will test the Trojans with a number of scrimmages, including the Staples jamboree on Saturday. They officially start the season on Wednesday when they host Pomperaug at 5:30 p.m.
Weston hopes for a better start this year. It took a while to settle down last season as the Trojans lost seven of their first eight matches.
However, they righted themselves in time to qualify for the South-West Conference playoffs, reaching the semifinals before losing to eventual champ Newtown.
Weston also qualified for the state Class M tournament, reaching the second round and losing to eventual champ Rocky Hill to finish the season at 11-10.
A few starting players have graduated since then, including former captains Jessy Gersh and Lili Clement. Weston’s starting setter, Gersh was named an All-SWC honorable mention and Clement was an All-Patriot Division selection as an outside hitter.
Morgan Murray and Katie Longstreth, who also saw varsity time, graduated as well.
Weston returns much experience with a large senior class. It has nine in all.
Two are captains Savannah Carpenter (All-SWC) and Sydney Weiss. The former is an outside hitter.
“She’s really worked on her game,” said Charles. “She’s really devoted to it.”
Weiss will be filling in at setter until classmate Taylor Swanson, who is recovering from knee surgery, returns in a few weeks. After that she will have a different role, according to Charles.
Also back is senior Frances Holmes, a middle hitter and All-Patriot selection. Anna Hengelbrok is another experienced middle hitter.
Justine Belport also saw some varsity action last year and has returned. Kelly Babcock, Katie Antonovich and Tori Zaharoff, who played JV last season, could also find roles on the varsity.
“Once Taylor’s back we’ll do some shifting,” said Charles. “We need another hitter to play the right side while Taylor’s out.”
As has been the case in recent seasons the Trojans once again hope to qualify for the league playoffs and state tournament and go far in each. They not only have the talent but the experience of playing in the post-season.
“I think one of the best things about this year is we have a bunch of girls who are used to being out there at that level,” said Charles. “We have to wait and see how things fall into place.”