Story last updated at 1:32 p.m. Thursday, August 22, 2002

Homer spikers get ready
By Sepp Jannotta
Staff Writer

With the Mariners Jamboree preseason volleyball tournament on tap this weekend, Homer High School volleyball coach Beth Trowbridge will have a chance to see how this year's squad handles itself in the heat of a match.

Trowbridge said the 12-team pool play tournament is meant to give the participating teams a chance to get in a little match play before the high school season begins for real in September.

The Mariners are hoping that this year's squad will pick up where last year's team left off. At 13-7, the 2001 Mariner volleyball team posted its best season in recent years, Trowbridge said.

Key to that effort was the play of outside hitters Holly McCune and middle hitter Chelsey Ward. The pair will now be the cagey veterans on the Mariner team, providing the senior leadership Trowbridge hopes will help the squad to continue its competitive play.

The question mark comes at the setter position, a spot vacated by standout Chaunna Deitz, who graduated last spring.

Trowbridge said she expects senior Sara Thompson to step into that role. Last year Thompson was a role player on the varsity squad and put in time as the setter at the junior varsity level.

"I feel that with these three (seniors) as the anchor, I've got some really good talent, and we're going to be able to put a really good team together."

But it might take a little while to figure out just what schemes work best given the players on the team.

"It might take the Jamboree and a few matches to determine what combinations work the best," Trowbridge said.

With no players over 6 feet, the Mariners will have to make up for their lack of size with tenacious court coverage, scrappy defense and a smart attack, she added.

"All they need is a little game experience," Trowbridge said.

And that will come starting at 4 p.m. on Friday as the Jamboree kicks off with the varsity teams at the high school and the the junior varsity teams at middle school.