The Stanley Humphries Secondary School senior girls volleyball team are set for another season. The Rockers have a veteran squad with eight grade 12’s joined by a pair of grade 11’s.
Team captain Jenna Stoushnow is impressed with the work effort of the team this year so far in practice.
“I think we have some pretty strong players and we’ve got our tall girls getting in there and switching it up,” she said. “We’ve got some good diggers, good hitters. Everyone is really improving this year.”
The team has much more size at the net with 5’11 grade 11 Kelsey Matson joining the team, as well as returning power players like Tiana Verigin and Sabrina Broad.
“Last year, we didn’t have a very tall team, but this year were looking a lot taller,” said Stoushnow.
The Rockers have been practicing since the beginning of school and are playing in their first tournament this weekend in Kamloops.
“Everybody’s got into a routine. Everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing,” said Stoushnow, who is in grade 12 and plays the setter position for the Rockers. “Everybody’s into it, everybody’s loud and communicating and everybody’s working hard.”
Stoushnow says the team has been working extra hard on communication on the court as well as on passing.
“We’ve been working extremely hard on passing,” she said. “Passing’s a big deal for our team.”
Coach Andraya Hughes is also impressed with the team so far and is looking forward to a strong season. The Rockers will have no shortage of experience with a strong grade 12 contingent on the roster.
“Last year we had a team that was very young. We had two grade 12’s and the rest were grade 11,” she said. “This year, all those grade 11’s are now in grade 12.”
The tournament is Kamloops will be a tough challenge for the SHSS girls, but coach Hughes says it’s a great way to start the season.
“Their’s a lot of really good teams there,” she said. “It’s a challenge for the girls. But we have a good team. It’s a bunch of girls that go out and have a really good time and play hard and deserve to win. And if we don’t we move on and play hard in the next game. It’s a really good group of girls. I’m really looking forward to the season.”
Both coach and captain agree that the only goals they set are to improve each time out and enjoy the experience.
“I hope everyone stays really positive and determined and keeps working for it,” said Stoushnow. “Sometimes we get discouraged and can fall apart. I think it’s really important that everyone sticks together as a team and works as a team to pull off some wins.”
“The girls really enjoy playing in the tournaments,” said Hughes. “I think each of the tournaments during the season, because most of these girls played in these tournaments last year, is it’s own goal. Every single time, no matter how we do, the girls, and it’s not lead by me, take a look at what they’ve done in a tournament and how they improved. They put that aside, and then start fresh. It’s a team that does a lot of thinking. It’s really nice.”