(written and photographed for Somerville Patch)
With the first day of school upon us, Somerville Patch will be previewing all eight fall sports programs at Somerville High School. Unsure how the Highlanders did in 2010? Want to know who might impact the upcoming season? Just want to know when the first game is? Read on and find out.
2010 Record: 3-11 overall, 2-5 in the Greater Boston League.
Despite a poor final record, girls’ volleyball coach Steven Walker said before a Sept. 6 practice that the 2010 season taught his team focus and communication. With just two seniors graduating last season, those skills will hopefully translate to more on-court success this season.
“I really think that experience of them playing together for so long now is really going to help them out this year,” Walker said.
Walker also said his girls have become “problem solvers,” able to recognize mistakes on the court and fix them without becoming defensive.
“They’re holding each other to a higher level of responsibility,” Walker said.
“They understand that they’re either going to win or lose as a team. It’s not going to be one person’s fault. It doesn’t come down to one play. It comes down to them acting as a team.”
First 2011 game: Wednesday 9/7 at Lawrence, 5:00 p.m.,
Home Opener: Monday 9/12 vs. Haverhill at SHS Field House, 5:00 p.m.
Players to watch: Nicole Genard, senior outside and middle hitter
“She’s our best hitter on the team,” Walker said, adding: “She reacts faster than most girls can. … She’s very aggressive, she’s very competitive, and she always wants to get better.”
Brittany Cassidy, senior setter
“She’s kind of like the quarterback of the team,” Walker said. “She’s really getting the girls ready for everything, and she kind of runs the offense. She helps them figure out where they have to be rotation-wise, where they have to be on defense, and it’s through her decision-making that our offense can really run smoothly.”
Key to the season: Aggressiveness
“I think last year we were hesitant in some games, and we got kind of caught on our heels with different things,” Walker said, adding: “If we’re aggressive, and always attacking, and always moving our feet, then the level of play just quadruples.”