The Sacred Heart volleyball team is putting in work in the preseason, getting its communication and timing down.
“I’d love to say that it’s mid-season form, but it’s not,” said Gremlins coach David Fall. “We’ve had a couple of opportunities to simulate games. We went to the referees’ mechanics session so we scrimmaged ourselves last Saturday and then Monday we scrimmaged against St. Paul, Blair Oaks and Hickman. That gave us a good indication of where we are at.”
The Gremlins were 17-8-3 last year, taking third in the Kaysinger Conference Tournament after sweeping through pool play. They fell to Stover in the district tournament.
This season Sacred Heart will use two setters with three players currently competing for those spots. Fall hopes to have that settled before the Gremlins head for Springfield for an early season tournament at Hillcrest.
“We’ve got Annalise Mergen back,” Fall said. “She’s one of our options. Hannah Orell is back as a second option. Anna Callis hasn’t set much but she’s an option as well. She’s worked with it some this summer.”
Fall expects the front line to be a strength for the Gremlins. The setters will be serving balls for several different hitters including Callis and Hannah Wilhoit.
“Those two are playing opposite so they’ll be a good first option most of the time,” Fall said. “Laura Wadley will be a nice option. Savanah Jeffries, a senior that’s come back, hopefully she’ll work into being a good option. And then we’ve got a couple of freshmen that might as long as they become mentally tougher and get completely healthy.”
At the back, Sacred Heart is looking to improve positioning.
“We’re like everyone else, we’re working hard to improve our transition and our defense right now,” Fall said.
The Gremlins open the season Tuesday at Father Tolton.
“They’re excited, they’re enthusiastic and I think they’re anxious to play somebody besides themselves,” Fall said.
Eric Ingles can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @Eric_Ingles