MONTROSE, N.Y.— With a new coach and an inexperienced roster, the Somers varsity volleyball team went through a rebuilding season.
The campaign concluded with a straight set loss to third-seeded Pelham in the first round of the Section 1 Class A tournament on Friday, Oct. 28.
The No. 14-seeded Tuskers dropped the first set two sets by a score of 25-14 and the final set, 25-19.
“We prepared well and practiced hard, but fell short of bringing our best game to the table,” Somers coach Kim Kelly said.
Somers finished its season with a 7-11 record. Kelly said that she was extremely proud of the hard work her young team put in after graduating nine players from the previous season.
“To compete in a section as strong as ours and do as well as we did is admirable,” she said. “Over the season, a skill our team mastered well is spot serving. Every player did an excellent job of placing the ball where I asked them to on their serve to throw the opposition’s offense out of system. It was exciting to watch their execution of this skill and it excited them as well to know how effective were.”
The first-year coach added that the team’s defense and ability to keep the ball in play during long rallies improved over the season.
“Many times we were able to end the play with a big kill by senior Alexa Hoffman,” Kelly said.
The Tuskers had three seniors on the team, who were the team captains, in Hoffman, Haley Paiva and Kylie Repp.
“Alexa Hoffman became an incredible all-around player for our team,” Kelly said. “We relied heavily on her performance every match. I’m so grateful to her for her leadership, strength and commitment to the team. Kylie Repp came into this season with an open mind and desire to improve, which she did an excellent job of achieving. Her strong presence in the middle is a gap we will have to work to address next season. As our only senior setter, Haley provided a consistent and steady performance each game. She connected very well with Alexa Hoffman and the two were a fun combination to watch when they got on an offensive run together. By the end of the season, Haley had greatly improved her offensive skills and began grabbing blocks for us on a regular basis.”
Kelly was grateful to have three senior captains who always brought a high level of energy and enthusiasm.
“I’m very grateful for how all three of these exceptional girls led by example,” she said. “I will personally miss them dearly and can’t thank them enough for being the foundation of our team during my first season as head coach.”
With a year of experience under their belts and many players returning, the expectations will be high for the Tuskers next season.
“I’d say the future is bright for Somers volleyball and I’m excited to continue developing and growing the program,” Kelly said. “We have a solid group of returning players and I’m looking forward to working closely with coach Chrissy Lepkowski, who does a tremendous job with our JV team, our next generation of varsity players.”