Stoughton High Volleyball Team Looks to Serve up Success
FALL SPORTS PREVIEW: In only the program’s fourth year, the Black Knights’ volleyball team boasts talent, experience and depth. The team looks to make some noise in the Hockomock League this season.
The Stoughton High volleyball team has only been around for four seasons, so even while the program is still developing, the experience of this year’s varsity squad will be one of the team’s strengths, head coach Ken Gay said.
The Black Knights return 10 players from last year’s team and have four who have been starters since the beginning of the program—Julia Quattrucci, Katherine Chlus, Andrea Chica, and Malykah Lopes.
The 2010 team went 3-17, but the record did not indicate the level of play.
“The team played at the highest level since the program began,” Gay wrote in an email. “We actually lost 16 sets by two points—the smallest margin for a loss because you must win by two points in volleyball.”
The experienced roster will look to improve upon that record in 2011.
“I feel we will be making some real noise in the Hockomock this season, but as always I am guardedly optimistic,” Gay wrote in an email. “Let’s play the matches and see how it plays out.”
The team turned in a solid showing at the Marshfield Jamboree on Tuesday, a tune-up before the regular season opener, Wednesday at Coyle-Cassidy.
At the Marshfield Jamboree, Stoughton, playing each team for a single set, went 3-1, beating Holbrook 25-15, losing to Hingham 25-23, beating Dedham 25-15, and beating Silver Lake 25-20.
Gay cites several players as being key contributors to this year’s team, including the first male member in program history. His scouting report for each player is below:
- Senior Julia Quattrucci, a setter and two-year captain—She attended an elite volleyball camp this summer to improve her setting skills and it definitely showed during tryouts. Also she is a player that does not leave anything behind after a match. Great leader; great player.
- Senior Katherine Chlus, an outside hitter and captain—Katherine has moved from the middle of the court to the left strong-side hitter position. During the off-season Katherine played club volleyball for the first time and her hitting has dramatically improved. I feel she may be the player that has the greatest breakout season of all the players.
- Senior Andrea Chica, a libero and captain—Andrea has been a two-time Hockomock league all-star and already has over 1,200 digs going into her senior year. Andrea spent the summer in basic training for the National Guard so her conditioning will be an even greater asset than in past years. In my opinion, there is no better libero in the league!
- Senior Malykah Lopes, an outside hitter—Malykah is one of those players that can make some amazing plays and kills. In the past her only weakness was her inconsistency, however I can’t wait to see her this season in her final year.
- Junior Lauren Carmicheal, an opposite/middle—Her game has jumped greatly over last season and she has a cannon for a serve.
- Junior Emma Zuk, a setter—Emma’s setting has shown great improvement over last season and will be a key to our success.
- Junior Nicole Daniels, a middle hitter/middle blocker— Nicky has shown that she could become one, if not the dominating, middle in the league this season. Only time will tell.
- Senior Anthony Jeudy, a defensive specialist and reserve setter—Anthony will be the first male on the Stoughton High Volleyball team. Because we have no male volleyball team in Stoughton, he has the right to tryout for and play on the girls’ team. He has demonstrated a high level of skill and will have an impact from the back row. That is the restriction he must live within on the team. He can only play back row positions and cannot hit or block in the front row.
Gay also has a lot of confidence in his bench.
“Our bench is going to be outstanding. Where in the past I may have had a player or two that would drop our play level while on the court, I can honestly say that I can sub any of my bench players and they will get the job done,” he said.
“That actually will be my biggest challenge, giving reserve players enough time on the court.”
Like every season, Gay is concerned about team chemistry, an intangible that could make or break a team.
“I know we have the talent, but the team needs to be just that, a team,” Gay wrote in an email.
“No one play can win a volleyball match. However, if the preseason is any indication, this may actually become strength from watching how the team has worked together to prepare for the season.”
Stoughton’s home opener is Friday against Foxboro.
Candace Hall contributed reporting.