Not to be discouraged coming off a 3-13 season in 2012, the East Greenwich Avengers boys volleyball team takes the court in 2013 with a positive outlook on what the season may hold.
“I’m excited about this season,” said EG head coach Terri Garno. “I have a bunch of really good kids and I’m looking forward to what they can do. They’re excited, they’re motivated and they are young.”
It is their youth and inexperience that Garno is hoping to turn into the Avengers biggest asset in 2013. Having a team that is a blank slate will allow the coach to mold the program around her team philosophy, rather than having to change the team’s game to fit the players.
“What I like about having a younger team is you can build in the mold of the program that you want,” said Garno “I’m having a lot of fun doing that with these kids because they are like sponges. They take what you say and they just want to get better. They are very motivated kids.”
This year, the coach’s goal is to develop a team centered around the middle of the court. With Patrick Wong returning to hold down the outside, it will be John Condon and Sam McLimans anchoring the middle.
While new to the game, McLimans is “picking it up quickly,” according to his coach, while Condon, as three year players, has matured since last season.
“John Condon has been playing for three years, has a year of club under his belt and is a very different player than he was last year,” said Garno. “I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do. He’s more dynamic, quicker and has much more of a court sense.”
The coach will also be stressing fundamentals as the season gets rolling, more specifically her player’s ability to execute the serve. Garno sees team’s ability to receive serves as a potential weakness that her young team can look to exploit as they continue to develop.
“We focus on the thing we can go after, so with the younger kids we focus on the serving first and keep working on the fundamentals and then it’s about putting them in that quick, fast system of play.”
While it might be easy to discount a team with so many players new to the game, the potential does exist for East Greenwich to make some noise in the Division II-South standings. Already at 1-1 this season, if the team can grow together, they should be able to best last season’s win total.
“I’d like to see the kids become more dynamic on the court. Work together as a unit,” said Garno of defining her team’s success this spring. “The key to this team is how they put things together and communicate together and how they put all the pieces together on the court. If we get to that point, with that comes success.”