PE Volleyball Eyes Continuity Despite Changes
FARMVILLE – While there aren't a ton of new faces around the Prince Edward County High School volleyball camp, the absence of two will leave some big holes to fill.
First, the Lady Eagles will enter the 2010 season with a new head coach. Bruce Bogese moves up from the junior varsity to the varsity to take over for program patriarch Marvin Meadows.
Also, PE must find a way to replace graduated outside hitter Amanda Favret.
“I had most of these players when they were on the junior varsity, and they've worked with Coach [Mehgan] Jones for the last couple of years, so there is a continuity. They know my style, and I think that's made for a smooth transition.
“Offensively, we'll have to spread things around more. There is no go-to position. If we can attack from the back line, we'll do so.”
It's fitting, considering Bogese sees this year's team having no clear go-to person.
“We have 15 go-to people. Everybody can lead, and it's up to everyone to pick the others up.
“We really have 15 decent players, and any of them could be on the floor at any time.”
One of the problems that had surfaced for the Lady Eagles over the last three seasons was getting the first pass. That led to inconsistent scoring. The Lady Eagles proved they could play with or beat any team on their schedule. However, that came with a negative counter-side.
“I feel we've really improved with our passing. Looking at our scrimmages, that hasn't been a downfall for us.”
Bogese said the team could see possibly four setters over the stretch of a game, depending on who has a hot hand. Rachel Thompson will be the primary setter, with sophomore Amy Dews and sophomore Taylor Reinson, who set for Bogese last year on the junior varsity, also getting time in the setter position.
Overall team youth will not be a problem. Of the 15 players on the roster, seven are seniors, six are juniors and two are sophomores.
“That's a pretty good mix,” said Bogese. “Our juniors and sophomores have shown they can hang in with our seniors, so we'll be set up pretty nicely for the next three years.”
Despite being unable to make the four-team Southside District Tournament for the past three seasons, the Lady Eagles were always competitive, which may have been more frustrating.
Bogese said the goal is to end that drought.
“We'll be pretty solid, not weak. The goal is to get into that top-four, and to get back to the Region Tournament. I believe we have the talent to do that.”
The league may be that much stronger. Powhatan is always the favorite, while Bluestone, Park View and Nottoway have always had solid programs. Throw in Southampton, and that makes six teams battling for four spots, which could grow even more depending on Greensville and Brunswick.
“What sounds easy at first becomes more difficult when you start to go through the league team-by-team,” said Bogese. “Still, it comes down to if we can do what we need to do. If we do that, we will only need to worry about ourselves. It could be a better league, and we could be better and still come up with the same result, but I'm hoping our overall depth will help be what puts us over in the close matches.”