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BVT Volleyball Working Together with Eye on League Title

The Blackstone Valley Tech girls volleyball team lost eight players to graduation from a squad that qualified for the district tournament a season ago. With many of the players returning in 2019 stepping into starting roles for the first time, the Beavers will need to solidify their on-court chemistry in order to get back to the postseason and compete for the Colonial Athletic League title.
"We have a lot of people returning from last year's roster, but a lot of new faces on the court as starters," said head coach Brian Lehtinen. "That is going to be the tough part, trying to get them to gel together and communicate better."
BVT finished 9-9 a season ago, qualifying for the tournament before falling to league rival Advanced Math and Science Academy in the first round.
Valley Tech has six seniors on the varsity roster this fall, including returning starters Skylar Morrissey and Rachel Rannikko, both of whom saw significant court time a season ago. Seniors Gabrielle Muscatell and Emily Losiewicz came off the bench in 2018, Lehtinen said, but will be thrust into the spotlight as a middle hitter and setter, respectively.
The head coach also said he is excited to have junior Grace Arnold back in the lineup in the middle after missing last season due to an injury suffered during the preseason.
Lehtinen said the team is still working on playing together and communicating on the court through early season scrimmages and practices, but there will be little time to waste once the season begins. The Beavers begin the 2019 campaign at home on Friday against Hopedale, a match Lehtinen said will be "a good test, right out of the gate."
Teams like Hopedale, Sutton, Whitinsville Christian and Nipmuc stand out among the strong, non-Colonial teams on the schedule this year.
"We are looking forward to those games," Lehtinen said. "That will tell us where we stand."
The team's top goal is to compete for the league title, something AMSA has taken the past two years.
"I think we have a good chance," Lehtinen said. "We want to compete for the league and get the title back to BVT. The next goal is making the playoffs and getting to 500."
Even as they sort out some of the early-season kinks, Lehtinen said the roster is good enough to get there.
"We have a talented roster," he said. "I kept 18 just because the talent was there. Now it's about who is going to be used in which role."




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