Viera volleyball boasts good mix of veterans, youth
This year's Viera High volleyball team will be led by seniors Maddie Day, left, Emma Redmon and Ali McLoughlin.
Viera Voice Carl Kotala
As one of three seniors on this year’s Viera High volleyball team, Ali McLoughlin has been impressed with what she’s seen so far from the Hawks’ younger players.
“Our team is young, but it’s good because our younger players still have good experience,” McLoughlin said. “And then our older group … I’ve been playing here for four years. It’s a good variety.
“As Coach (Sarah Wayne) says, you couldn’t form a team more perfect because the young players are so eager to learn. I’ve never seen people so young just wanting to lay out on the floor and dive around. That’s good for Viera volleyball.”
McLoughlin, along with libero Emma Redmon and fellow outside hitter Maddie Day — who has committed to play at Caldwell University — will provide the leadership for a Viera team that will also feature four juniors and five sophomores.
Tory Kolasky, Shaine Horvath, Taylor Jensen and Desiree Allen make up the junior class while the sophomores include Delaney Lott (who played for the varsity as a freshman), Madi Hintz, Makena Wagner, Isabella Rivera and Chloe Arellano.
Although this year’s group doesn’t have the height of past Viera teams, Wayne isn’t worried. Expect the Hawks to speed up their offense and to concentrate on out-digging their opponents.
“We’re going to try to play a little faster, we’re going to focus on defense and try to wear teams down,” Wayne said.
McLoughlin said keeping an open line of communication on the court will play a big role for Viera as well.
“We’re not as tall as we used to be in the past, so getting our conditioning up, having that agility and just going after it and being loud (communicating well) is really going to be key.
“We’ll be unstoppable that way for sure.”
In addition to competing for the district title, the Hawks figure to be in the mix in the Cape Coast Conference, which has split into two divisions — north and south. Viera is in the South Division along with Melbourne, Satellite, West Shore, Bayside, Heritage and Eau Gallie.
Another big game will come on Oct. 5 when Viera hosts Holy Trinity in the annual Pink Game with proceeds from the contest going to the Side-Out Foundation, a nonprofit that raises money through volleyball to support breast cancer research and educational services.
If there is one thing the Hawks have proven during Wayne’s tenure, it’s that you can expect to find them at or near the top of the standings.
“I think this is one of those seasons where it’s up to them,” Wayne said. “I think if they decide, and they make that mental decision to be a strong team, we’re going to surprise a lot of people.”