SOMERS, N.Y.— Kim Kelly enters her second season as Somers varsity volleyball coach and the Tuskers are expecting to improve on a 7-11 record and pull out the close, five-set matches.
Liz Spencer, a senior captain, is the team’s starting setter and brings plenty of experience to the position. She is dedicated to the sport and plays club volleyball.
“Liz brings a strong work ethic, focus and intensity to the game,” Kelly said. “She was a key player for us last year and we are excited to see her hard work in both the club season and preseason pay off this season.”
Senior Alyssa Klee will be counted on to be a force as a middle hitter with junior Chloe Pittman also expected to be a big-time hitter on the right side.
“Both have been working very hard in the offseason to improve their hitting and I’m very excited to see the results of their work in our games this season,” Kelly said. “Alyssa will run a fast offense in the middle and is a great blocker. As a lefty on the right side, Chloe has done a great job developing her ability to run faster plays and is also a tremendous blocker.”
Senior Vicky Levy, who is a co-captain with Spencer, will also make an impact as an outside hitter and provides “great passing and consistency,” Kelly said.
“Vicky will also play a big role on defense again this season in the left-back position,” the coach added. “She has great court awareness and is capable of pulling up a lot of digs in her position.”
Seniors Christina Vitale and Madison Andriano are the Tuskers’ defensive specialists in the back row. Kelly said that Vitale had an “incredible preseason and shows great promise in passing and digging.”
“We will rely on both of them in the back row for consistent passing and hitting the outlet when our offense is thrown out of system,” Kelly said.
Kelly describes junior Alexa Casciano as the team’s utility player.
“She is strong in nearly every position and hits well in both the outside and right-side position,” she noted. “We will also look to her for tough serving and passing the ball consistently.”
Sophomore middle hitter Pooja Rao returns this season after being called up as a freshman after an injury sidelined Klee. A newcomer to the varsity is freshman Delaney Kileen, who provides strong hitting capabilities in the front row.
Somers opens the season when it travels to Carmel for a 4:30 p.m. contest next Wednesday.
“Our goal is to win as many games as possible, pull out the five-game matches, make the playoffs and have fun along the way,” Kelly said. “I am looking forward to the ride beginning on Sept. 6.”