As the new school year begins in Princeton, so too does volleyball.
Operating under a new coach, Anthony Peters, the 2019 season for the Eagles looks to be not only a learning year, but a competitive one in the Pioneer Valley League.
“This year we’ll be fielding a team of 10 girls – four seniors, two juniors, two sophomores, and two freshman,” said Peters. “We’re keeping the 4-2 offense and implementing a bit of a different team defense which will be key for us going into the season. I’ve been trying to emphasize the importance of digging and defense as the base for our team.”
Being the smallest school in the area, Princeton will face some tough competition in the early part of the season against bigger schools like Williams and Biggs. The Eagles league competition consists of Paradise Adventist Academy, American Christian Academy, Elk Creek, Providence and Champion Christian, where they went 4-4 last season.
“I’d like us to have a solid league campaign and finish at least second,” Peters said. “Right now, I don’t think a decent playoff run is out of the picture.”
Players to watch this season will be senior Karissa Lutz and Junior Alondra Cervantes, both playing in the setter/opposite positions, and senior Jaqui Reynoso and Diane Medina, playing the outside hitters positions. Medina led the Eagles in kills and attacks in 2018 with 43 kills and 134 attacks.
In preparation for the upcoming season, Princeton embraced the coaching techniques of Butte College coach Dave Davis over the summer.
“Davis really helped the team work on serving and passing, as well introduce some new rotations to help our serve-receive,” said Peters.
The Eagles strength will come from the power of their hitters Vanessa Chocteco and Medina. Solidifying their passing and becoming aggressive on their defense, could put the pressure on opposing offenses, keeping the Eagles in a solid position for playoffs this season.
“Honestly, I believe that our season will hinge on our serving and passing,” said Peters. “If we can continually dig balls and become aggressive on our defense, we can put pressure on opposing offenses and cause errors. Our goal is to force teams into errors and capitalize when we serve.” ■