As the 2013 high school girls volleyball season begins, The Tampa Tribune takes a look at what to expect. Here’s a look at the court report, or the top things to watch, this season.
Berkeley Prep enters the season ranked 29th in the nation by PrepVolleyball.com. The Buccaneers, who saw their streak of three consecutive state titles snapped by Orlando Bishop Moore last season, return five starters, including senior outside hitter Sidney Brown, the 2012 Tribune Volleyball Player of the Year who is committed to Stanford. Joining Brown are setter Maddy Alberdi, outside hitters Logan Weldon and Maddie Raquet, middle blocker Addison Harden and libero Morgan Reyes.
Durant went 25-8 last season but missed the postseason. The Cougars reload with the return of outside hitter Lexi Thompson, who has verbally committed to Ole Miss, along with Kelsey Morton and Victoria Fanning.
Academy of the Holy Names missed the playoffs last year after losing in the district tournament semifinals, but the team has a dynamic duo in setter Jennifer Aprile, who has committed to the University of Tampa, and junior outside hitter/middler blocker Courtney Vogler, who verbally committed to North Carolina.
Freedom has made three consecutive postseason appearances, with the first in school history coming in 2010, and setter Kelly Schaller was a major contributor in all three. Schaller was one of the county’s leaders in assists last season, and the senior has he opportunity to end her career with another postseason run.
Robinson reached the region final last season, the farthest the program had gone since 1978. The Knights return their top attacker from last season in Lauren Peterson. Now the question is, can they do it again?
Eckerd College in St. Petersburg got verbal commitments from two county players: Plant outside hitter/setter Kaitlyn Sibson and Newsome outside hitter Madison Whiting.
Bloomingdale junior outside hitter Kharissa Rhodes had 295 kills last season and a 4.5 kills per set average, nearly half the team average. The Bulls finished 15-12 last season and missed the playoffs. Expect plenty production from the 5-foot-10 hitter this season.