by Tom Utescher
On September 6, rain gushed down on the first day of class at most area schools, but in the comfort of the Mount St. Joseph Academy gym, the Magic’s volleyball team was able to conduct its season opener and nail down a league victory.
Visiting Villa Joseph Marie Academy submitted in Tuesday’s tilt, 25-8, 25-6, 25-10. The Jems aren’t among the most formidable opponents within the Athletic Association of Catholic Academies, and the Mounties dispatched their guests in appropriate, businesslike fashion.
“It gave us a chance to see how our new nucleus of kids works together, and they did alright,” said coach George Trabosh. “The seniors haven’t played as a unit since their freshmen year, because the next two years there were always older players in the mix.”
The veteran upperclassmen are hitters Kasey Cannon, Nicki Driscoll, and Kelsey Robbins, and libero Regina Trabosh (daughter of the coach). Jackie Lohin is also a senior, but is new to her role as starting setter.
“She did a nice job, and so did [junior] Marissa McBride in the third set,” Trabosh said.
Junior Maddy Good already saw a little varsity time last season, and sophomore Moira Mulholland acquitted herself well in her first full-fledged varsity encounter. The big news, literally, was six-foot freshman middle hitter Sarah Thomas.
“She did very well; I was happy with what I was seeing out there,” the coach said. “Even with her, we’re really small compared to everybody else, so we’re going to have to be defensive-minded.”
Robbins, a team co-captain along with Cannon, noted “We’re still trying to tie things together, but for our first match it was good. Sarah has a lot of talent and I think she’s going to be a great addition to our team.”
As a senior leader helping younger players adjust to the varsity level, Robbins said, “You just talk to them and let them know that they’re good players and we have confidence in them.”
Not sure whether she’ll play in college, Robbins is simply focusing on her senior season at the Mount.
“I want to keep improving my blocking, and help slow the ball down and make it easier on Regina and the other passers,” she explained. “We’re used to other teams being bigger than we are, and we try to move the ball around quickly to get around the blocks.”