Friday, September 2, 2005
After taking a four-year hiatus from coaching high school volleyball, Soroco High School coach Betsy Photos is back, and this year's team couldn't be more excited.
"We're excited about so many girls having the enthusiasm to play volleyball," she said. "It's just fantastic."
There are 38 girls playing volleyball this year, the largest group Photos has coached. The varsity team has four returning seniors and one new senior.
Photos thinks senior Kyla Schmidt will be an asset to the team this year because of her variety of strong skills.
"She is a very versatile player. She has strong defensive skills and is a great outside hitter," she said.
Photos also said sophomore Amanda Wilson might be a force to be reckoned with.
"She'll be a threat in the middle," she said.
Photos said the girls have been diligent in practicing during the summer and that most girls came to open-gym nights held throughout the summer. In addition to those practices, the girls also participated in a camp in July.
"They worked really, really hard at that team camp," she said.
Photos is happy to be back coaching and has made some changes this year that she thinks will make the team stronger and more competitive.
"The girls are supportive of me and the team," she said.
Photos continues to be impressed with the attitudes of the players because they are so positive and eager to play.
"They want to improve the team. They want to improve themselves. They are so jazzed for this," she said.
Because this is Photos' first year back coaching, she does not know how the other regional teams are shaping up. But she knows the Rams will play hard against every foe.
"We're going to go after every opponent hard," she said.
The Tuesday matchup against Hayden is one the girls are looking particularly forward to.
"This is a great way to start the season -- by playing one of our biggest rivals," she said. "I do think we have the Hayden coach scared."
Photos said the team has shown strengths in passing and serving, and she thinks those skills get stronger by the day.
However, the girls need to work on blocking and being more aggressive with their hits.
The team is playing five matches today as part of a Labor Day preseason tournament with regional opponents, including North Park, Grand Valley and Paonia.
Photos hopes to solidify her plans for the varsity team placements based on the performance of the girls during the matches.
"I couldn't be more excited about this season. I've been waiting all summer for this," she said.