2012 figures to be a big season for Marietta High volleyball.
However, it didn't exactly start off the way head coach Ron Kidder was hoping for Saturday, as the Lady Tigers went 1-1 in a tri-match against Cincinnati Christian and Vinton County.
"We didn't play to our ability," Kidder said. "I think we thought we would win them both. We kind of fell asleep in the second match."
In spite of a somewhat rocky start, Kidder did see some things that he liked.
"We showed a lot of heart in the first match," Kidder said. "We lost the first game (13-25), but we came back and won the next two (26-24, 25-23). We didn't give up. We do need to work on the fundamentals, and staying a little more focused."
Kidder pointed out two main factors that will be crucial to the team's success this season.
"Defense," Kidder said. "Defending will be key. Also, how good of a job leading that our seniors do."
Kaitlyn Cozzens, Lexi Walsh, Kristen Hill, Haley Bonar, and Kourtney Crum are the five seniors that will play a large role in leadership on the team. Cozzens, a setter, Walsh, a backside hitter, and Hill, an outside hitter, each earned All-ECOL honors a season ago.
Junior Gracie Haas, and sophomores Mattie Miller, Lain Weppler, and Holly Hutchinson all saw time at Vinton County Saturday as well.
"We are a team that is not going to rely on just one kid," Kidder said. "We are a well-balanced team."
Last season, the Lady Tigers posted a 4-9 league record in the ECOL, one of the most competitive volleyball leagues in Ohio. Kidder said the team will not be phased by the competition.
"We're going to take it one game at a time," Kidder said. "We feel like if we play like we can, we can play with anybody. We think we can make it far in the tournament. We just need to get more consistent."
"We've been working very hard," Kidder added.
The Lady Tigers figure to be an exciting team to watch the rest of the way, featuring athleticism as well as size.
Kidder's squad will look to go over .500 and pick up its second win of the season today in a road and East Central Ohio League contest against the Blue Devils of Zanesville.