The running of players from each side of the net to the other with the scrimmage in progress seemed to be a wise design by Butte Central head girls’ volleyball coach Kaila Minehan.
The Maroons held their preseason dress rehearsal at the Maroon Activities Center on Saturday and with competitive results. A 25-22 first game was followed by a 25-17 getaway. The more experience players played together more in the second game and “tried to take control,” as Minehan put it.
“There’s good competition between the groups,” Minehan said of the scrimmage, and the preseason drills to this point. “There’s a lot of fight. The senior and junior classes stepped out, though, in that second game.”
Is an interesting blend of experience levels Minehan has on the BC roster.
“It will be a fun year,” she said. “We have a solid six-senior crew and also four freshmen.”
The veteranship was evident early as seniors Mariah Cooney and Danee Leary led the hitting from the middle and side, respectively, off sets from senior Shannon McLaughlin. Senior libero Danika Neumann sparked the defense.
The other seniors on the roster are Taylor Marthaller and Annie Ossello. Marthaller is a back-row player who will work as a setter after spending last season as a defensive specialist. Ossello can be a force at the net but is currently sidelined with an injury.
“This year’s been tough with the injury to Annie,“ Minehan said. “We’ve been working hard to piece together what we can do.“
Junior front-liner Sadie Harrington is another valuable returnee while newcomers to the varsity include junior back-row player Cassidy McGree, junior hitter Erin Antonioli and sophomore back-row player Ashley Marthaller.
The freshmen making their marks in varsity practice are server and defender Shawnee Hjelt, right-side blocker Sierra Pica, Lacey McGree and outside hitter Teresa Piazzola. Eleven freshmen, total, are in the BC volleyball program this year.
“Our freshmen were nervous today playing before a crowd,” Minehan said. “We expect out juniors and seniors to be even better (than they were on Saturday).
“From what I’ve seen, I think it’s be a fun year for the Butte Central Maroons.”