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Senior Driven Group to Lead BVT Volleyball

More than 100 girls tried out for a spot on one of the Blackstone Valley Tech girls volleyball teams, but it's nine seniors who will lead the way for an experienced varsity squad.
Head coach Barbara King had just four spots available on her roster with such a strong group returning. It made for some difficult choices given the sheer volume of potential players she has had to sort through over the first few days of fall practice.
"It's a good problem to have, and everyone had a great tryout, so this was not easy," King said. "I think we are going to be okay with the group we have on varsity, we just need to buckle down on out defense. We only have one girl with any height."
That height comes in the form of senior tri-captain Emma Helstrom, a 6'1" middle hitter."She is still working on getting stronger, but she is a player who is willing to learn and very focused," King said.
Joining Helstrom as captains are fellow seniors Olivia Bianco and Becca Rose. Bianco is a setter who King expects to be able to "run the floor" when she is out there directing her teammates.
"She will not only be making sure to have good sets, but also making sure people are in the right position," King said. "She was our starting setter last year, she is quick and athletic. She is also a consistent server, so we will look for that out of her too."
Rose is an outside hitter and her head coach calls her a "little spitfire" who works tirelessly to improve upon perceived weaknesses in her game.
"She has improved tremendously," King said. "She has improved her jumping, she has gotten stronger, and she is learning how to come down on a hit so she can keep her attacks in play.
Six additional seniors are expected to play significant roles for Valley Tech, including five who played for King last season. Mikayla Corda is back as an outsider hitter. Teresa Facey will help set and Kalina Ramos is the libero. Taylor Walsh and Autumn Campbell will both hit from the right side, and Lexus Andrews is another middle hitter in the Beavers' mix. Junior Genny Kempster is back as a middle hitter as well after playing there last season. Sam Bunnell returns after missing time with a concussion last year and is a player King describes as having a "good sense of the net." Junior Rachel Arnold is another player King says will earn a spot somewhere on the floor.
"She is going to do really well and we will have to find ways to get her into the game," she said of Arnold. "She has a bullet serve and good instincts."
Right sider hitter Grace Lemire, middle hitter Janel McCarty, and outside hitter Haylee Ouelette will all see time on the varsity floor. King hopes the veteran group can help her team accomplish the two things it usually sets as goals by the end of the season.
"Once we get situated we will meet and come up with more team goals," she said. "But getting into the playoffs and getting to the state vocational tournament are two big ones we always have."




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