It’s difficult for Houston High School volleyball coach Skye Carrasquillo to set expectations for the 2013 team. Because, frankly, she doesn’t know at this point.
With just two seniors and five upperclassmen on the roster, Carrasquillo hasn’t yet determined what her team will be capable of when the season begins next week.
“I can’t say lets be .500 or lets be .700. That’s not a realistic goal we can set at this moment because we honestly don’t know,” Carrasquillo said. “Once we figure out our potential, then we can set goals.”
The Lady Tigers lost five players from last year’s team that went 12-17-2 and won five of their seven conference matches. Two of those players, Alexa Ichord and Amber Sillyman, earned all-conference honors.
HHS will be led this season by its senior duo of Desiree Venable and Sydney Cremer. Carrasquillo said she has been impressed with their leadership for the young team.
“You couldn’t ask for two better leaders,” said Carrasquillo, who enters her third year at HHS. “As soon as they realized this was their team, they dove right in and took control. The girls look up to them and know everything they say is not what they want, but what coach wants for the team.”
A three-year starter, Venable was an all-district and second team all-conference selection last season. She had a team-high 443 digs as the starting libero and also had 39 aces, 29 kills and seven aces.
Cremer, a setter and outside hitter, was a regular in the rotation for HHS. Also returning after playing with the varsity last season are middle blocker Megan Silveus and sophomore setter and middle blocker Sarah Kelley.
The rest of the Lady Tigers’ roster has very little or no varsity experience.
Sophomore Camryn Scheets and freshman Emily Shea will provide depth at middle blocker. Juniors Nora Dixon and Hayley Walker along with sophomores Katelyn Martinez and Sammy Garrett will be part of the rotation at outside hitter. Walker, Garrett and sophomore Shelby Cremer are defensive specialists.
One thing Carrasquillo has determined with this year’s team is their reslience.
“They’re a positive group,” she said. “They don’t care if they mess up. They move on to the next play. That’s something you can’t teach them. They naturally have it, and it’s fantastic.”
How that translates on the court when the season begins Tuesday as Houston hosts rival Licking is still to be determined.
“We can overcome inexperience,” Carrasquillo said. “But are we going to make young mistakes? Yes.
“I think the team will overcome the young mistakes and learn very quickly.”