Fall Sports Previews: Colton High School volleyball
Head coach: Nick Keli'ipule'ole, fourth season
2016 record: 7-12 overall, 3-9 PacWest play
Three-year record: 15-44 overall, 10-26 PacWest play
Last playoff appearance: 1988, lost 15-0, 9-15, 16-14 to Grant in semifinal round
Key departures: Setter Rachel McCoy (Second Team All-League), outside hitter Abby Syvinski, middle blockers Macey Beseau and Megan Imdieke, and outside hitters Janey Ethington and Alex McCorkle (Honorable Mention All-League).
Players to watch: Senior setter Brooklyn Olsen
Season outlook: The Lady Vikings will have their hands full as they return just one player from last year's varsity squad in senior Brooklyn Olsen. Seven seniors graduated and Janey Ethington elected not to return this season, according to Keli'ipule'ole.
Despite that fact, Keli'ipule'ole said he's looking forward to the season and that he's pleased with the number of younger players he's seen come out.
"In such a small district, where volleyball hasn't been the most popular sports, the numbers of girls playing has always been an obstacle," he said. "I'm glad to see that starting to turn around."
The Lady Viks have a number of players returning from last year's JV squad, including six sophomores and one junior, that will likely be expected to step up into varsity roles this season.
"My girls are still honing their skills, but their athleticism is second to none and I'm confident they will catch on quickly," Keli'ipule'ole said.
Keli'ipule'ole said his biggest focus is to get his starting lineup finalized and determine rotations.
"Any coach knows that chemistry is crucial and I want the girls to get as many reps together as possible," he said.
"As with each season, I look for my team to improve upon the previous seasons," Keli'ipule'ole said.
First game: The Lady Viks begin their season at Dayton on Thursday, Aug. 24 at 6:15 p.m. and return home on Sept. 5 to take on Jefferson at 6:30 p.m. to begin league play.
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