Now in her fourth year as head coach of the Huntington High School varsity girls’ volleyball team, Lauren Visbal is confident the Blue Devils are ready to become one of Suffolk’s most competitive squads.
Huntington’s roster includes freshman Shannon Kehoe, sophomores Marina Durand and Sophia Severine, juniors Cat Jamison, Maddie Reed, Kiara Gelbman, Petyon Kalb, Isabella Toscano, Grace Heuwetter and Steli Vlahos and seniors Caroline Lenze and Shaye O’Beirne.
Captained by Lenze and Jamison, the program “is truly starting to shine and become competitive,” Visbal said. “We are looking forward to this season and what the outcome may be. Several of the girls play year round, which is a huge advantage for the team.
Huntington’s projected starting lineup features Jamison and Lenze at outside hitter, Reed and O’Beirne at middle blocker, Vlahos at right side hitter, Kehoe at setter and Toscano at libero/defensive specialist.
“We have a new setter in Shannon Kehoe, who has been playing club as well as playing for a team in Ireland this past summer,” Visbal said. “I have great confidence that her setting is going to enhance our team and the way we play.”
Jamison is one of the top young players in the state, if not the country. Reed is ready for a breakout season and the rest of the starting lineup is experienced and prepared to shine.
There has been a few changes to Huntington’s league foes. Eastport-South Manor has moved to a different league and Comsewogue has taken its place. The Blue Devils will also face North Babylon, Deer Park, West Islip and rugged Bellport. The team has a 10-game league schedule.
“Bellport is our biggest competition in the league and I am hoping we will play our game and give them a good fight,” Visbal said. “The goal is to get to play offs and I really believe we have a chance this year.”
Huntington will also play in three invitational tournaments at Smithtown East (September 15), Cold Spring Harbor (September 22) and Northport (October 6).
The Blue Devils open the season on Friday at Deer Park at 6 p.m.