Young and talented: South Tahoe volleyball aims to shape into contender
2015 REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE
Sept. 1 vs. Wooster, L 3-0
*Sept. 11 vs. Elko, 6 p.m.
*Sept. 12 vs. Spring Creek, Noon
Sept. 15 vs. Incline, 6 p.m.
*Sept. 18 vs. Lowry, 6 p.m.
*Sept. 19 at Fallon, 2 p.m.
*Sept. 23 vs. Dayton, 6 p.m.
*Sept. 26 vs. Sparks, Noon
*Sept. 30 at Truckee, 6 p.m.
*Oct. 3 at Fernley, Noon
*Oct. 9 at Elko, 6 p.m.
*Oct. 10 at Spring Creek, Noon
*Oct. 13 vs. Fallon, 6 p.m.
*Oct. 15 at Lowry, 6 p.m.
*Oct. 21 at Dayton, 6 p.m.
*Oct. 23 at Sparks, 6 p.m.
*Oct. 27 vs. Truckee, 6 p.m.
*Oct. 30 vs. Fernley, 6 p.m.
*Div. I-A Northern League match
Home matches in bold
The 2015 South Tahoe volleyball team doesn’t have a wealth of experience on the varsity level. Instead, the Vikings have a talented group focused on development and creating team chemistry as the season gets underway.
“We have to work in a lot of very young people into some important positions,” Vikings coach Dan McLaughlin said. “It’s going to take a little bit of time and a little bit of knowledge.”
South Tahoe finished 16-14 last season and missed the Div. I-A playoffs by one spot. The Vikings want to make the postseason this year — and even take it a step further.
“That’s our primary goal right now, to go to state,” South Tahoe senior libero Kaitlynn Watson said. “That’s what we’re all looking at.”
Watson is one of three Vikings’ team captains along with senior outside hitter Paige Naccarato and junior setter Zoe Mosedale. That trio makes up the core of experienced returners from last year’s varsity squad.
“We just try to push [the younger players] to what they can do,” Naccarato said. “When they’re down we lift them up; it’s more about the support that we give them.”
Nora Anderson, Tait Andrews, Korinne Bricker and Lexi Steinbergs round out South Tahoe’s senior group. Andrews didn’t play last year after transferring from Whittell, but practiced the entire season and has emerged as a leader.
“A lot of these girls have been playing for quite a few years — not together, but when you have experience you can figure out how to play with other players,” Mosedale said. “All of us have a very large potential to do well.”
Of the Vikings’ younger players, sophomores McKenna Brewer (middle hitter) and Novel Moses (outside hitter) will have an immediate impact. Junior Maya Brosch, the reigning Div. I-A state 300 hurdles champion, also has the chance to make a splash on the outside based on her athleticism.
“We have the talent, we just have to learn to use it,” McLaughlin said. “We have to find out the combinations that work, and make sure that we’re all on the same page in terms of the system.”
South Tahoe’s offense is in flux as the season begins, and the Vikings will rely on serving, passing and defense early on. In its season opening loss against Wooster (Reno, Nev.) on Tuesday, Sept. 1, South Tahoe stayed in the match despite struggling offensively with 14 kills and 36 hitting errors.
“Our serving has been phenomenal so far, so I’m hoping it’s just going to get better,” Mosedale said.
The Vikings’ 2015 campaign will ultimately be defined by how quickly they can come together as a team. As a young South Tahoe squad develops, it will look to consistently improve throughout the season.
“We’re definitely going to come together more as a team and bond together to be able to get to our goals,” Naccarato said.
South Tahoe opened the season with a 3-0 loss to Wooster at home Sept. 1, the first of five straight home matches. The Vikings open league play at the Blue Gym against Elko on Friday, Sept. 11, at 6 p.m.