Centre Volleyball small but mighty

They may be small but they are ready for big wins this season. Front row (from left): Kaitlyn Hudson, Gracie Luna, Emma David, Back row: Samantha Espinoza, Carly Deines, Alyssa Espinoza

Karen Nickel is starting her third year as head coach for the Centre High School volleyball team and she coached for 7 years before that as the assistant coach.

While they ended their last season with a record of 6-24, the coach is feeling optimistic about this season.

“Our season should be good. We are returning with most of our starters from last season. We have played all summer together as well. I figure we should in the season in the top half of the league,” said Nickel.

The starters are seniors Emma David, left front hitter, and Gracie Luna, right front hitter; juniors Samantha Espinoza, setter, middle hitter/blocker and Alyssa Espinoza, setter, middle hitter/blocker; and sophomore Carly Deines, left front hitter.

Alyssa Espinoza was also All-League Honorable Mention last season.

The Cougars do face a few obstacles.

“We do not have much height. Our tallest player is 5’9”. Plus our numbers are low this season so we are hoping to be injury free. That would really hurt our chances of doing well this season,” said Nickel.

But, the coach is confident her girls are hard workers and can pull off a strong season.

“Obviously, we would like to improve our record from last season. We have worked hard all season to become better players on and off the volleyball court. Learning how to work as a team and finish our matches in a huge goal for us. We are small but mighty,” Nickel said.

Coming—The Cougar girls opened with a triangular match at Canton Galva on Tuesday. They will host a mod quad on Sept 10, hosting Elyria, Goessel and Herrington.