Last year’s youth is this year’s experience.
That’s the case for the Thornton High School volleyball team, which has five varsity players returning, the majority of whom were underclassmen last year.
The Trojans will need that expertise when playing against their rival teams in the East Metro Athletic Conference. Coach Lisa Sauner has high hopes for her 2013 squad, in that she wants to be sitting in the top quarter of the league by the end of the season.
“EMAC league has been continually competitive at the very top with the same teams,” Sauner said. “Brighton, Prairie View, Rangeview. We want to be able to compete with those teams and take them to five (sets) and get the win we need to be able to keep us up there in those top three spots.”
Rangeview was the team the Trojans lost to last year in the postseason. Senior Meagan Craven said in order to beat the Raiders this year Thornton will need to improve on setting better, as well as, ball passing and ball control. Craven admits she needs to progress because setter is her main position.
“I’m a setter, so that’s a really big thing I need to work on,” Craven said. “And we need to work on our ball passing, ball control, but we’re really getting it.”
Craven, a captain in the 2012 season, is returning to the team, as is senior outside hitter Alyssa Zinser. The two seniors have been on the team all four years. Sauner said she expects a lot from them, and they are a very important part of the team. She said they do a great job encouraging the girls and building team spirit. Zinser is hoping to be a good leader for the team.
“I’m hoping to be captain and to lead my team in any ways that they need,” Zinser said. “Anything that we’re struggling with, just be an all-around team player and support the girls.”
Both Zinser and Craven said one of the team’s strength’s this year is the great chemistry the players have with each other — off the court as well as in it. They said they’re always communicating with each other and trying to find ways they can improve their game.
Even though the Trojans have only a few practices under their belt, coach Sauner said the team is already looking good and are excited to be playing.
“They look great,” Sauner said. “We have our days where we have to get on them a little bit more, but for the most part, I think the girls are really excited about being here. Excited about starting the season and kicking off with a great start. Looking forward to the future.”