Alpena volleyball team aiming for continued improvement during season
ALPENA — As the Alpena High girls’ volleyball season continues, the team looks forward to a challenging couple of months.
Although all of Alpena’s Big North Conference games will be tough, the Wildcats won the Mt. Morris invite early in the season. The Wildcats took on Yale, Melvindale, Wald Lake, and Mt. Morris to take home the victory.
“(Winning the Mount Morris invite) was super important to kick the season off on a good note. It allowed our team to iron out a couple of wrinkles and slowly get into a rhythm leading up to the championship,” Alpena coach Kolby Andrews said. “We made some adjustments the more we played, and we feel ready to take on our conference opponents.”
One factor the volleyball team has going in its favor is its six returning seniors. These seniors include Avery Dubey, Grace Samp, Eden Gray, Sydney Hitzelberger, Olivia Precord, and Laurel Alberts.
“It’s always great to have leadership and returning players. We’re always trying to find new approaches and things to work on, but having that many athletes coming back and knowing my philosophies is huge early on,” Andrews said.
Another difference between last year’s team is a new solid defensive lineup with added height. The team called Reaghan Fitzpatrick and Kiera Prue from the JV team to add two six-foot athletes to help block and reject opponent’s kill attempts.
Adding two new first-year students should also significantly boost this year’s team. Sisters Madelynn and Grace Cameron have been added to the team, and it’s only a matter of time before they adjust to the varsity level.
“All of the girls that are first-year varsity players have all adjusted super well to the varsity level. We’re still trying to figure out everybody’s roles and moving around some positions,” Andrews said. “With Madelynn and Grace Cameron being freshmen and playing high school volleyball for the first time, they’ve done an excellent job. As for the JV players that have moved up, like Reaghan (Fitzpatrick), Kiera (Prue), and Olivia (Ryan), they’re also doing a great job of filling in,”
As the season continues, the Wildcats are looking for a significant improvement over last year and are excited to kick off the season with a few tough conference opponents.