South Tahoe Vikings volleyball gets set for another season
South Tahoe High’s volleyball program is getting set for another season of bumps and spikes.
Kelly Racca is heading into her second season as head coach with the Vikings and said she’s proud of what her girls did last year. However, she has plans to keep building the program.
Racca said they graduated some seniors and lost a few others to spring sports, but the team’s base is solid and they have some great leaders returning.
“We have six strong players returning this season,” said Racca. “We did lose our senior setter and senior libero, which are two key positions for us, so we’re looking for some of the girls from last year’s team to step into those key roles and produce for us.”
Coming into the season with a 17-10 record, overall, and a regional playoff appearance in 2016, the Lady Vikings will have some scrimmages coming up to help assess where they are at as a team. South Tahoe officially begins the season Aug. 31 against Incline High.
“We have a scrimmage in Gardnerville at Douglas High School and Dayton and Carson are usually there,” said Racca. “We’re going to be feeling out rotations, putting girls in different positions and launching into the season; then on [August] 25th and 26th, we have the Yerington tournament in Nevada.”
Racca said that these early scrimmages will help get the team in working order and allow her personnel to get a feel for what needs to be polished and which girls are going to be strong starters. According to Racca, some of her players have already caught the eye of Division II teams.
“McKenna Brewer, who is a third year varsity player, just committed on Tuesday to play at Sonoma State University,” said Racca, “She’s definitely going to be a key player for us this season.”
Brewer isn’t the only returning talent who has the potential to play at the next level.
“We’ve definitely got a lot of talent,” said Racca. “Our front row is looking very strong and it’s just a matter of building around that talent so the girls can perform at their best.”
Since the 2016 Vikings volleyball team was one she inherited, Racca said this season will kind of be her first season with a fresh start and roster. And although slightly smaller in size than in previous years, Racca said the team can accomplish a lot.
“We have a smaller program this year, with only a varsity and junior varsity team,” she said. “Some of our freshman talent went over to soccer this year, but we’re making it work. The teams are smaller, but the girls are really committed and have bought in to the program. All of the girls are totally focused, determined, and share the passion of the game with me and I love it.”
One of the things that has assisted with team bonding is the charity work they’ve been involved with, Racca explained. The Lady Vikings had a “charity night” last season where they raised funds for a UC Davis breast cancer charity group that provides wigs for women who have lost hair due to cancer treatment.
“We want to give back to the community and that’s a large part of why I coach,” said Racca. “I want to make this a positive experience for the kids and develop them to make them excellent community members.”
The Vikings have arranged for another charity night this year, with juvenile diabetes as the cause. The funds raised on Oct. 7, the night the Vikings play Dayton High, will be used to support a camp for youth who have been diagnosed with juvenile diabetes.
Racca said that she plans to incorporate different forms of charity work as she continues to develop the South Tahoe volleyball program.