The Marietta High volleyball team features a significant amount of returning talent as the 2012 season approaches.
"We'll have five seniors, and nice junior and sophomore classes," said Lady Tiger head coach Ron Kidder. "We've got a nice group of kids this season."
"Our senior group will be the leaders," Kidder continued. "We've got a lot of experience this year. We'll be big in the middle, and we've got our all-league setter from last year returning. We've got a lot of kids who played in the off season, so that will be helpful."
Times file photo
Marietta High’s Kaitlyn Cozzens (1) was a first-team All-East Central Ohio League honoree as a junior last season.
The all-league setter Kidder was referring to is senior Kaitlyn Cozzens, a first team All-ECOL selection in 2011. Other Lady Tigers to earn postseason honors last season were backside hitter Alexis Walsh (Second team All-ECOL) and outside hitter Kristen Hill (Honorable mention All-ECOL). Both Walsh and Hill will be seniors.
Kidder said the final cuts still have not been made, and did not want to reveal a projected roster or starters. Kidder did say the team has performed well in off season tournaments.
"We've played in a few tournaments, and I think we've looked good," Kidder said. "At the beginning of the year, everyone was sort of rusty, but there's been good improvement. We played in a tournament in Cincinnati, and played Thomas Worthington in the championship. We played some nice competition, and it was a good challenge for us."
In 2011, Marietta posted a 4-9 league record in a conference that featured two teams ranked in the top 20 in Ohio. Gone from last year's team to graduation are Amanda Brown, Maggie Harrison, and Lexi Willison.
Kidder is focused on this season, and has his sights set on a successful 2012. He said the key to this season will be team chemistry.
"As long as we play as a team, we will do well," Kidder said. "We have athletic ability, but it will also take team work. I had shirts made that say 'All the talent in the world is nothing without discipline.'"
Those shirts are very fitting for this seasons squad, which Kidder thinks will provide entertainment for the fans.
"It's going to be an exciting team," Kidder said. "I think they'll be fun to watch."
The team will begin official practices on Aug. 6. That same day, there will be varsity tryouts from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Marietta Middle School gym.
The Lady Tigers are scheduled to play their first game Aug. 25 in a road match against Vinton County at 1 p.m.