Deep Warriors have high hopes |

Deep Warriors have high hopes

Dan ThriftSecond-year varsity volleyball player Tina Hordzwick digs a serve during a George Whittell preseason practice. The Warriors open their season Sept. 3 against North Tahoe in Zephyr Cove

Despite a 12-player roster containing only two seniors, Whittell High’s 2003 volleyball team has enough depth to probe the bottom of Lake Tahoe.

“It’s one of the deepest teams I’ve ever had,” said Whittell seventh-year coach Dan McLaughlin. “It’s so deep many players on the JV ordinarily would be on the varsity.”

What McLaughlin lacks in senior numbers — only two — is offset by his players’ abilities and commitment to the game.

“Despite being young, it’s very experienced due to club (play) and it’s one of the most athletic teams I’ve ever had.”

Seven Warriors augmented their high school seasons by playing club ball from January through June. The players who missed out are already finding out the difference between playing volleyball for 10 months as opposed to three or four.

“The experience that they’ve gained, they will be able to show the other players what it takes,” McLaughlin said.

All-league setter Jackie Marino leads a talented core of juniors who helped the Warriors finish runner-up in the Nevada 2A Northern Division and third at state a year ago.

McLaughlin isn’t alone in believing the Warriors have the makings of a special team.

“You put any six of our girls on the court and we can beat anyone in our league,” Marino said.

In fact, McLaughlin is playfully challenging his players to stay on top of their games for fear of losing their varsity spots.

“We better work hard or he’s going to bring the JV players up,” Marino said. “He’s doing it to push us to work hard and I think it’s going to help us get a better season going.”

Whittell’s athletic junior class also includes all-league hitter Tina Hordzwick, all-league defensive specialist Whitney Gielow, returning outside hitter Sidney Colvin and returning right-side hitter Anna Kingman.

Third-year varsity player Krystie McDonald gives the Warriors senior leadership.

Adding immediate depth and punch are freshman outside hitter Jessica Woods and freshman middle blocker Kelly Karmann.

“Those two are amazing players … they are gonna be really good,” Marino said of two promising players from the Capitol City Gold Team.

Promoted from the junior varsity are senior Courtney Greenwood, sophomore Katrina Kacirek, junior Megan Lowe and junior Kristen Karmann.

With such a deep bench, the biggest challenge might be McLaughlin’s.

“Finding the right combination is going to be a real challenge for me. I can put anyone in and have strong players,” McLaughlin said. “We match up with anybody on any level. We expect to have a really solid season.”

With a knowledgeable and athletic team, Marino is excited about the prospects of running more sophisticated sets.

“I’ve added a lot more knowledge and power to my game that I didn’t have as a sophomore,” she said. “We’ll get to run faster sets that we didn’t get into last year. It’s to keep our opponents on their toes and it will help us win our games faster.”

Naturally, the Warriors have high expectations for the 2003 season.

“Our goal is we want to host zone and we want to win state,” Marino said. “We feel we have the talent and depth and we really want to work hard and go for it.”

Whittell opens its season Sept. 3 at home against North Tahoe.

The Warriors also are scheduled to play Class 4A Douglas on Sept. 11 and South Tahoe on Oct. 30. Both matches are on the road.

“Those are some big games for us and we want to makes the games as tough as we can. We don’t want any easy games,” McLaughlin said.

WHS Schedule

Date Foe/Site Time

Sept. 3 NORTH TAHOE 5 p.m.

Sept. 5-6 Dayton Tourney TBA

Sept. 9 INCLINE 4 p.m.

Sept. 11 At Douglas 4:45 p.m.

Sept. 13 At Lovelock 3 p.m.

Sept. 16 SILVER STAGE 4 p.m.

Sept. 20 At Hawthorne 3 p.m.

Sept. 23 At Virginia City 6 p.m.

Sept. 27 At Carmichael T. 3 p.m.

Oct. 3 LOVELOCK 4 p.m.

Oct. 4 BATTLE MTN. * 10 a.m./Noon

Oct. 7 At Yerington 5 p.m.

Oct. 14 At Incline 4 p.m.

Oct. 16 DAMONTE RANCH 4 p.m.

OCT. 18 VIRGINIA CITY 12:30 p.m.

Oct. 21 HAWTHORNE 4 p.m.

Oct. 23 At Silver Stage 4 p.m.

Oct. 25 At W. Wendover 10 a.m./noon

Oct. 30 At South Tahoe 6 p.m.

Nov. 4 MAMMOTH 3:30 p.m.

* Homecoming

Note: Home matches are in ALL CAPS.

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