Volleyball team has senior-heavy group for 2021 campaign
Tue, 08/24/2021 - 12:55pm caleb
Versatility, game experience among squad’s strengths as Vikings prepare for fall season
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
The 2021 varsity girls volleyball team from Grayling High School started its official practices for the season on Monday, August 9, following a productive offseason that included camps, scrimmages, and open gyms.
This year’s squad has a group with a lot of varsity experience. The team has seven seniors, four juniors, and one sophomore.
Coach Tim Zigila said the group of seniors and some of the juniors “saw significant (playing) time” last year because in 2020 the program had only two 12th graders.
Coach Zigila said the summer offseason work went well. The volleyball program attended All-American camp and Ferris State University team camp in July.
“It was good. Had good turnout at both. Ferris we took 16 kids to team camp. Camp experience was real good. Girls played well. We finished second in the bronze division there in Ferris. I was pretty pleased with that as far as the finish goes. We played well down there. It was a good experience,” Coach Zigila said.
Coach Zigila said practice sessions have gone well so far.
“Practices have been good. The girls have been really committed to being here early every day. That’s been great,” Coach Zigila said.
“The whole focus has been straight up defense. Just working on reading better what goes on on the other side of the net and reacting better,” Coach Zigila said. “We’re really focusing on defense and communication.”
Coach Zigila said the team’s strengths include experience and versatility.
“Strength would be experience. Lots of seniors with lots of game experience. We’re game tested,” Coach Zigila said. “Everybody can play lots of positions. We’re going to be versatile.”
Coach Zigila said his expectation for the squad is steady improvement.
“I just want to see the continued growth as a team as far as the things we’ve been working on in the games. Communication, aggressive serving, aggressive gameplay. All the girls in the front now can bring it,” Coach Zigila said. “I just want to see us put into practice the things we’ve been working on and add a few wrinkles as we go.”
Coach Zigila said the squad is looking to compete for one of the top spots in the league but it will be a challenge since the conference has a few strong teams and other up and coming programs.
“It’s always our goal to finish top three in the (Lake Michigan Conference),” Coach Zigila said.
With regard to the playoffs, Grayling moved down from Division 2 to Division 3 this year, but even though the change will put the Vikings in a bracket with smaller teams, their district is likely to still feature quality opponents, Coach Zigila said.
“The move is going to be good but it’s also going to be a challenge,” Coach Zigila said.
The team’s first two regular season meets are tournaments to be played on the road. The squad will host Oscoda and Reed City on Tuesday, August 31.
“My kids are ready to go. They’ve done all the summer stuff. We’re ready to play,” Coach Zigila said. “The kids are itching to get out there.”
“I’m excited. Excited to get going,” Coach Zigila said.