It's often said, the best teams are those with a good mix of veteran leadership and youthful exuberance, and the 2020 Saint Andrew’s Scots Volleyball Team personifies that to a tee.
Although last year’s Captain and the Scot’s all time kills leader Caroline Cleveland is now playing for the Butler University Bulldogs, the Scots return 7 seniors to this fall’s squad. Third year Head Coach Dawn Jones believes she has the right personnel in place to make up for any lost production. “Caroline is definitely a big loss to our team. But collectively we have many versatile players that can grow into that position. Sarah Stokes, has continued to dish balls in our setting role putting our attackers in a great position. Madeline Cramer's strength with her heavy arm generates a powerful attack. Haley Meister returns to the pin and fills in the middle when needed. And Seniors Stormy Kosinski, Jessica McGuffie, Blayse Freedman, and Claire Nottman bring the veteran depth on defense.”
Junior Tatum Ashley and Sophomores Avery Lins, Lily Condon and Cristi Haley are joined by newcomer Freshman Morgan Mattson to round out the talented Scots Varsity squad. “Tatum joins varsity after ending her sophomore season with us in the postseason. Avery has grown in both her passing and defense. Cristi really is excelling in her beach game which will translate with her foot speed for defense and passing and vertical attack when indoors. Lily was able to train pin hitting with her club team, adding more versatility to her play across the net, and Morgan will be an impact player right away. She will fill the attacking role across the front of the net with her versatility as a pin hitter as well as her experience as a middle.”
The landscape of high school sports has changed dramatically in the COVID-19 era, and volleyball, as an indoor sport where athletes share a ball and are in close proximity to one another, has been among the most impacted. Safety protocols called for a gradual start to the season, and the Scots have adjusted accordingly. “The challenge of training volleyball during COVID was initially the restriction of being outside and also not being able to do partner work with a ball. We started with outdoor nets, just doing conditioning and ball control individually. Once we moved indoors, the challenge was more just wearing the mask during training. I think after a week, though, we got used to it.”
As always, the goal is to win districts, and Coach Jones believes her team is well-positioned to achieve that goal. But right now, the Scots varsity volleyball team is simply happy they are playing again, and excited about the opportunity to compete.
The JV and Varsity teams will be competing in their first matches of the season at North Broward Prep on Saturday, October 3 at 10:00AM (JV) and 11:30AM (Varsity). Go Scots!