With two of the most talented players in the county returning to the court, the Huntington High School varsity girls’ volleyball team will open the season with high hopes, despite losing several starters to graduation.
Juniors Cat Jamison and Maddie Reed will lead the Blue Devils into battle this fall. The season will get underway with the first day of practice on Monday, August 20.
Huntington lost Julia Rogan, Alexandra Heuwetter, Rachel Moss, Lindsay Saginaw, Myasia Gaskin, Jaime Ioppolo and Deanna Morales to graduation last June. Several of them were starters and team leaders and they won’t be easily replaced. But the Blue Devils promise to soldier on as they strive to become one of the county’s better teams.
“We will be rebuilding the team during the coming season as we lost several starters,” said head coach Lauren Visbal, a Huntington alum. “It will be exciting to see them work together and get comfortable on the court with each other. We will be playing in three tournaments so they have lots of games to practice. I have very high hopes for this team and what they will be able to accomplish.”
Huntington will open the season on August 29 at West Islip at 5 p.m. The first home match is scheduled for September 12 at 6 p.m. against Bellport.
The Blue Devils will look to Jamison and Reed to lead the way. An extremely talented outside hitter, Jamison tallied 132 “kills,” 212 digs, 13 blocks and 33 aces last fall. Reed also excelled with 29 “kills” and 12 blocks.
“We are a very young team that continues to grow,” Jamison said. “Looking toward the season, I’m very confident with this team and its ability as a whole. We are planning to work very hard in order to achieve our goal of making the playoffs. It should be a great season.”
Jamison, Reed, Kiara Gelbman, Mackenzie Joseph, Caroline Lenze, Shaye O’Beirne and Isabella Toscano are all returning to the varsity. Freshman setter Shannon Kehoe and junior outside hitter Steli Vlahos were standouts on last fall’s junior varsity team. Vlahos was the leader on the court and Kehoe averaged more than five assists per game and 15-20 per match.
Several of last year’s JV players are also expected to make this year’s varsity team. Next week’s tryouts will determine who makes which roster.
Visbal will be assisted by Huntington alum Todd Donaghy, who coached the Blue Devil boys’ team in recent years.
Huntington has been on the cusp of turning the corner with the team for several seasons. Could this finally be the year? Stay tuned.