Strong team play could lead to success for Viera volleyball


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The Viera High volleyball team believes its chemistry will serve it well this season.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

With five new players on this year’s Viera High School volleyball team, including two freshmen, the Hawks likely will spend the first part of the year getting to know each other’s games.

“Right now, it’s a process of seeing how we can all blend together,” Viera coach Sarah Wayne said. “We have a little bit of new blood, mixed in with some veteran seniors. We’re going to try to fit the pieces together.”

Led by seniors Taylor Jensen, Shaine Horvath and Tory Kolaski — plus junior co-captain Delaney Goff — the Hawks already appeared to have some good team chemistry going before their season even started.

“We’ve all gotten to know each other really well, so (it shows) on the court,” Jensen said.

That includes the two freshmen — Kelly Merz and Hannah Bradford —  who will be defensive specialists for the Hawks this season.

“They’re ready to go,” Wayne said. “They’re coming in and they’re hungry. They’re freshmen. They want to prove themselves. You can just kind of tell. I think the acclimation process has been pretty fast.”

Like several Viera teams of the past, the Hawks won’t be blessed with a lot of height this season, so they’re working on ways to work through that situation.

“We’re working hard to get our legs stronger so we can get up higher,” Goff said. “We’re working on our blocks a lot.”

The Hawks also have spent a lot of time working on their serve/receive game so that they can do a good job of controlling the point against whomever they happen to be playing.

“One of our strong points this year is our serves,” Goff said. “We have really good serves. That’s what we’ve been focusing on. We want to keep teams in our control.”

That will be especially important in a district that contains talented teams such as Hagerty, Harmony, Melbourne, Celebration, St. Cloud, Liberty and newcomer Tohopekaliga of Kissimmee.

In addition to playing those district games, the Hawks also will host their 12th annual Pink Game on Oct. 3 against Melbourne Central Catholic. Proceeds from that game will go to benefit the Side-Out Foundation, a national organization that raises money for breast cancer research.

The district tournament will start later that month in St. Cloud, and this year the Hawks have a distinct goal in mind.

“We always get stuck at the first level of districts,” Goff said. “We’ll go past that this year because we’re working together a lot and the coaches are pushing us more this year.”

And the more they play as a team, the more dangerous the Hawks will be.

“I think we’ll pull together on the court and that will help us play a lot better,” Jensen said.  VV