By Trevor Busch
St. Mary’s School senior varsity girls volleyball team is shaping up for a strong season following pre-season tournament play over the weekend in Lethbridge.
“It’s looking really good. We had pre-season at CCH this past weekend, and the girls showed tons and tons of potential,” said head coach Vassie Mucciarone, who is in her first year at St. Mary’s. “They’re super positive and super excited, and we’re going to focus a lot on the 2A schools for provincials.”
Mucciarone expects the team’s heaviest opposition on the season will come from 4A schools it will be competing against.
“Definitely the 4A schools, like CCH and Chinook. We were close with LCI over the weekend. The girls showed tons of potential, it was just a matter of getting the job done.”
With a significant proportion of seasoned players at the Grade 12 level, the St. Mary’s senior varsity girls volleyball team are anticipating a strong showing against their opponents this fall.
“We have six Grade 12s, that’s really good,” said Mucciarone. “So we are an older team, a more experienced team, which is fantastic. The Grade 11s that I have and one Grade 10 student, they’re hungry — they want to win, and they want to play. I have 10 girls who all want to be on the court, and all hustle, and just work super hard.”
“They want to get the job done, and they keep saying ‘this is their year’. So we’re just going to try to do out best and get as far we can in league, in zones, and provincials.”
Areas of focus for improvement include serving skills and maintaining a positive attitude in the face of adversity.
“We’re going to focus on consistency, and just being super positive. And serving, and playing tough and smart at the same time.”
The team played their first regular season game on Sept. 9 against LCI which resulted in an 0-3 loss, but lessons learned for the team.
“It was the first game of the season, so I think the girls were a little nervous. When we played LCI again this weekend, it was a lot closer games.”
The team plays CCH tonight at St. Mary’s at 7:30 p.m., and will then play Chinook at home on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. (Junior varsity games precede senior varsity and begin at 6 p.m.).
The team is not only physically capable, but is improving its mental game as well.
“I’d say they have both for sure. Physically the girls are very strong, and then mentally, they’re getting there,” said Mucciarone.
Mucciarone is looking forward to the prospects for the season and an opportunity to impart her years of volleyball wisdom to a new crop of young athletes.
“I’m super excited to be coaching them. I grew up and played in Lethbridge, and I played every level that you could, so I’m just really excited to be coaching a high school team. I coached three years of junior high in Lethbridge after I was done playing college ball. So I’m just super happy to be out here and have such a great group of girls who are dedicated and focused, and want to win.”