New STHS coach says work ethic can carry Vikings far
New head coach Randy Volkmar has one message to the South Tahoe High girls soccer team: Do the extra work.
Volkmar, who was the assistant coach for two years under Julia Russell after three seasons as the junior varsity head coach, knows his players well and expects big things from them. With five returning starters from last year’s team that lost in the first round of zone playoffs, he believes it will be the little things that make the difference this season.
“I feel like this is a team that can go just as far, if not farther,” Volkmar said. “If the girls are willing to put in a little extra work, we have the potential to be a great team.”
Midfielder Nolie Pierini was voted team MVP and made the all-league second team after an outstanding junior year and will anchor the midfield along with Bailey Flood.
“We lost a lot of seniors, but there is a good, young group of juniors coming back,” Pierini said. “Already in the first week of tryouts we can see the improvement.”
Megan Roberto and Colleen Sheehan return on defense, but the Vikings will sorely miss the strength of sweeper Kristin Tener, last year’s Tahoe Daily Tribune Female Athlete of the Year. Volkmar admitted he doesn’t have a player who can replace Tener’s leadership.
“I’d say our biggest strength right now is team unity,” he said. “It’s going to be a group effort to replace what Kristin brought to the table.”
Another trouble spot is a lack of upperclassmen in goal, with a sophomore and freshman competing for playing time at goalkeeper. Junior varsity coach Hugo Lizzola, however, is a goalie coach and Volkmar expects rapid improvement.
“It’s a concern, certainly, but I’m confident we’ll put someone solid in goal,” Volkmar said. “Hugo is an excellent goalie coach and he’ll bring them along quickly.”
The Vikings’ attack will be led by two players who played only parts of last season. Cybil Robinson was a starter at forward before a knee injury ended her season before the playoffs, while Luauna Brinkley was promoted from varsity after Robinson’s mishap.
Reed eliminated South Tahoe 1-0 in a physical first-round playoff game last year. After that tough defeat, the Vikings are determined to make it deeper into the postseason.
“We’re more up to it this year … more intense,” Pierini said. “We’ll have a better year this year.”
South Tahoe will scrimmage at least three schools at a tournament Friday and Saturday at Galena High in Reno.
– Tribune Sports Editor Steve Yingling contributed to this story.
Aug. 27-28 Galena Tournament TBA
Aug. 31 DAMONTE 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 4 At Bishop Manogue 11 a.m.
Sept. 7 RENO 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 9 NORTH TAHOE 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 11 At Wooster 1 p.m.
Sept. 14 DOUGLAS 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 18 CARSON 1 p.m.
Sept. 21 At North Valleys 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 25 HUG 3 p.m.
Sept. 28 At Spanish Springs 7 p.m.
Oct. 2 At Reno 1 p.m.
Oct. 5 At Reed 7 p.m.
Oct. 9 WOOSTER 3 p.m.
Oct. 12 At Douglas 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 16 At Carson 6 p.m.
Oct. 19 N. VALLEYS 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 23 At Hug 3 p.m.
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