Marietta High's volleyball team is expecting a roller coaster ride this week.
The Ron Kidder-coached 2014 Tiger netters are scheduled to compete in the 17th annual Friendship Cup at Sports Express Volleyball Center in Mason July 17-19.
Mason is just a couple of miles or so from the King's Island amusement park.
Times file photo
Marietta High’s Lain Weppler, center, attempts to spike the volleyball against Warren in a match last season. The Tiger netters are scheduled to compete in the Friendly Cup at Sports Express Volleyball Center in Mason Thursday.
"You can actually see King's Island from where we'll be," Kidder said. "And, yes, we'll be going there."
First things first, though, as MHS has a VB tournament to focus on.
"We'll be taking two teams with us," Kidder said. "The kids have been working hard this summer, conditioning and playing in open gyms.
2014 Marietta High volleyball
Head coach: Ron Kidder
Assistants: Paige Lamb, Ricci Davis
Aug. 18 GALLIA 5:15 p.m.
Aug. 19 WARREN 5:15 p.m.
Aug. 27 at Zanesville 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 2 DOVER 5 p.m.
Sept. 4 at Cambridge 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 6 at West Union Tourney 10 a.m.
Sept. 9 ROSECRANS 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 11 at New Philadelphia 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 13 at Shen. tri w/Warren 11 a.m.
Sept. 16 at Meadowbrook 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 18 CLAYMONT 5 p.m.
Sept. 23 at Coshocton 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 25 at Logan 5:15 p.m.
Sept. 27 NEW PHILADEPHIA 11 a.m.
Sept. 29 at Warren 5:15 p.m.
Sept. 30 CAMBRIDGE 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 2 at Dover 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 6 at Gallia 5:15 p.m.
Oct. 7 RIVER VIEW 5 p.m.
Oct. 9 ZANESVILLE 5:30 p.m.
"At the Friendship Cup, it'll be a good opportunity for them to play together against other teams, and it'll allow us (coaches) to see what we've got."
Kidder will be assisted this upcoming season by former Marietta Tiger volleyball players' Paige Lamb and Ricci Davis, both recent Marietta College graduates. At MC, Lamb was a Lady Pioneer basketball letterwinner, while Davis rowed for the women's crew team.
Longtime Kidder assistant Sandra Goin has decided not to return to the sideline.
As to what Marietta High will be showcasing on the volleyball court, Kidder is optimistic - and he should be.
MHS graduated only two seniors from last year's 14-9 squad. Gracie Haas, a middle hitter, will be attending Marietta College, where she'll be majoring in petroleum engineering, while Jennifer Hefter will be continuing her schooling in the Sunshine State of Florida. The varsity returnees will be seniors' Lain Weppler (outside hitter), Chrystal McCoy (outside hitter), Mattie Miller defensive specialist), Megan Broughton (setter), Abby Harrison backside), and Holly Hutchison (middle hitter). Junior Shannon Haessly (libero) is also back.
Sophomore Alexis Palazzo, a 5-foot-11 varsity newcomer, will be one "to keep an eye on," Kidder said. Palazzo played on the JV team last season. "We've got talent," Kidder said. "But it takes more than talent to win.
"It takes experience, team chemistry, and being able to play together."
In Kidder's 18 years (12 at Warren, 6 at MHS) at the volleyball helm, 17 of them have been winning campaigns. So, he knows what he's talking about. Last season, Marietta's netters bowed out of Ohio Division I postseason play with a setback to Uniontown Lake. They're hoping to advance further this fall.
The Tigers are also expected to be competitive again in the always-tough East Central Ohio League (ECOL), which was dominated by Dover High, a Final Four participant, in 2013. The Lady Tornadoes graduated "everyone," Kidder said. "This has always been a strong league," the MHS boss said. "But we can compete in it. The other schools respect us."