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BVT Volleyball Sets Sights on Postseason

When Blackstone Valley Tech girls' varsity volleyball coach Barbara King took over the program in 2001, she barely had enough players come out to field a varsity team. This year, even after making some cuts, she has more than 60 girls in the program on a varsity, JV, and two freshman teams.
She's also had plenty of success, including an undefeated regular season, vocational title, and a trip to the District Three finals just two seasons ago. So last year's 6-14 finish left King feeling a bit disappointed. "It was a rebuilding year," she said. "We had very little experience and had lost 10 seniors from the year before."
This year with a line-up that includes three senior captains and a promising freshman, King makes no secret of her expectations. "I am expecting us to return to the post-season with the heart and determination these kids have," she said. "I really expect them to get better from the beginning to the end of the year."
The Beavers have three senior captains for the 2010 team, outside hitter Kayleigh Dowden, outside hitter Nicole Corbin, and libero Jenn Agosto. Dowden, an Upton native, has been one of the team's more consistent all around players. Corbin is from Mendon, who King says is a totally different player this season. "She has really stepped up. Last year was her first year on varsity and she has a lot more confidence this season, she's become one of our stronger players," said King.
The play of Agosto has drawn rave reviews from King, among others. "The kid is amazing," said King. "She gets to everything; she's small but quick and athletic. Every single game, whether it's the other coach or the officials, they say your libero is unbelievable. She is such a huge part of the team."
King is also excited about the lone freshman on her squad, 5'10" Mendon native Alana Thirsk saying, "She is very strong, and very quick at the net. For being a freshman she plays with a lot of confidence and fits right in with the rest of the girls."
The Beavers began their season 3-0, with wins over Nashoba Tech, Keefe Tech, and Tri-County. BVT followed that up with three consecutive losses, but the most recent gave King reason to be encouraged. "I really feel we snapped out of it in the loss to Holliston," said King. "The girls seem to be gelling again."
The chemistry is the main reason King feels her program has grown so much since 2001."We just have such a good time and the kids really enjoy it," she said. "They enjoy the memories they have, I still hear from players who graduated several years ago. When you treat kids with respect and get them to learn to love the game they just want to come out and play"
BVT is hosting the "Dig Pink" match vs. Holliston on October 21 at 6:30 p.m. Proceeds from the game will benefit breast cancer research and awareness. Last season, the match raised more than $2,500 and the team hopes to top $3,000 this year. For more information or to donate, visit www.side-out.org/application/teams/team_page/1570.




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