Women’s volleyball gets revved up for another year
By Eric Wilkins, Sports Editor
It’s a new season for the women’s volleyball team. A fresh start. An opportunity to show just what this team can do. And the 2013-14 edition of the Royals has no intentions of disappointing.
Coach Kyra Iannone stated her anticipated results for the year clearly and concisely: “I would say we have medal expectations.”
Some might say such lofty expectations are unrealistic, seeing as last season finished with the Royals (5-19 during seasonal play) losing in three sets (25-13, 25-19, 26-24) to the Columbia Bible College Bearcats in the quarterfinals of the provincial championships; but, with several players finishing in the top-10 of various statistical categories, and a general positive feeling about the group, any naysayers should think twice. Iannone certainly recognizes last year was never to be a championship run, and there are great things to come from the group.
“Last season was good. We built through a lot, brought in some new recruits, and were a fairly young team. The girls had a lot of adversity to fight through last year—a lot of struggles and challenges. And they did a really good job of [handling it].” Iannone continued, “Weakness last year was probably our team chemistry… and they needed a transition year to get used to expectations and systems.”
Second years Tori Trim and Hayley Flower-Ainge concurred with their coach’s thoughts: “I think we’re going to do a whole lot better than last year. Our chemistry’s already way better this year than it was last year and everyone’s working harder,” Flower-Ainge remarked, “I thought it was okay for a building year. I thought our team chemistry needed some work… [it] was kind of weird… off the court was a lot better than it was on the court… [This year] we can do pretty well.”
On top of the improved core from last season, the squad was able to add four outstanding high school recruits: Madison Burt (Heritage Woods Secondary), Kelsi Taron (Kelowna Christian School), Taylor Gammel (Mount Boucherie Secondary School), and Toni Vandenbrink (Kalamalka Secondary).
With the recruits boasting a host of awards and titles such as First Team All-Stars and Team BC experience, Iannone was obviously excited about the fresh blood: “We have some really big recruits. Impact players.”
Along with the faces fresh to post-secondary sport, the team was able to attract a transfer from Thompson Rivers University, who will add some CIS experience to the group.
Young improving team with five solid additions? Net result looks good.