The Paly Voice

Volleyball team prepares for a new season

Julia Asin and Maddy Jones

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The Palo Alto High School girls Volleyball team huddles up in the Big Gym before practice. The Vikings are preparing for their first home game versus the Castilleja Alligators. They hope to have a strong season.

The Palo Alto High School girls Volleyball team huddles up in the Big Gym before practice. The Vikings are preparing for their first home game versus the Castilleja Alligators. They hope to have a strong season.

Players on Palo Alto High School’s girls volleyball team are getting ready for another solid season as they prepare for their first game against Castilleja on Thursday.

Head coach David Winn is preparing the team for the tough competition they will face this season.

“We think Homestead is probably the team to beat in our league this year,” Winn said. “They tied with us last year. They return a lot of people just like us, [so] they’re going to be very strong.”

Los Gatos and Los Altos will also be among Paly’s top competition, according to Winn.

Last year, the Vikings won the De Anza League Title for the seventh consecutive year despite worries that the team would struggle after losing most of its 2011 state championship team.

While the 2012 Vikings did not win a state championship for what would have been the third year in a row, the team made it to the Central Coast Section semifinals, where they lost to Homestead.

Senior libero, a defensive specialist, Keri Gee hopes that the Vikings repeat as De Anza League champions.

“We definitely want to try to win league like we did last year,” Gee said. “[If we] keep that going I think that’ll be our eighth season.”

Coming off of a team-building, 10-mile hike last weekend, the Vikings look to emphasize team chemistry and energy along with improved mechanics throughout the 2013 season.

“We want to be the loudest team, so having the energy is something that hopefully we can control and other teams hopefully won’t be able to take it away from us,” Winn said. “[At the] top of the list is continuing to try to win our league … It was really challenging last year, [and] it will be challenging again this year.”

Winn is aware that the team is an underdog this year, but he still has high hopes for success.

“We’re definitely not the favorite, but we’re going to try to surprise a couple teams along the way,” Winn said.

The team is large again, with 16 people on the roster. There are two freshmen, two sophomores, eight juniors and four seniors.

“We have a bunch of new players this year so it’s going to be a building year, but I’m definitely excited to work with some new people,” Gee said.

With so many new additions to the team this year,  the coaching staff will have to help the team settle into a rhythm.

 “Once we get a sense of people in their roles I think they’re going to feel more comfortable about what they need to focus on,” Winn said. “If we have good team chemistry and keep our energy up, we’ll be in the running.”

The Vikings will first compete against the Castilleja Alligators at 6:45 p.m on Thursday, Sept. 5 in the Big Gym.

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