The WCMS junior varsity and varsity volleyball teams both participated in the Westwood Middle School play day Saturday. The varsity Lady Pioneers finished second in both pool play and the tournament. They finished 4-2, only losing to defending CTC tournament champion Coffee County.
Coffee County, Tullahoma, Franklin North, Warren County and Westwood all participated.
“It was great to see three other conference teams so early in the season,” said WCMS head coach Holly Palombo. “I was very impressed with varsity since we had only learned that rotation last week. Every front-row player had multiple kills, even our setters Jenna Mullins and Ali Young, who were filling in as middle hitters.”
She continued, “Their versatility and ability to play any position is a true testament to their athleticism. Our other two eighth-graders who attended, Aubrey Oleksik and Alyssa Boyd, were key players not only from the attack line but from behind the service line as well.”
Coach Palombo also praised the JV team for its performance at the play day saying, “Going into the weekend, our main goal for the sixth-graders was to get experience and show improvement from the first game to the last game. Once their nerves settled they were able to set the ball up for some passes, sets, hits.”
Nick Cantrell has moved from assistant coach to JV head coach and said, “I’m proud of their effort. Being their first time to ever play, I challenged the girls to not let balls drop by not moving or talking. I told them to stay loose and have fun. They performed well but there’s room to improve and build in more coverage assignments as the preseason progresses.”
Palombo credits the girls for their chemistry and serving ability.
“My favorite part of volleyball is serving,” she said, “It is the only time you have 100% control of what is going to happen. If we are able to be consistent and strong with our serves, we will be a hard team to beat.”
She said she has more than enough girls to put behind the serving line.
Palombo has high hopes for both JV and varsity coming off a successful season for both squads: varsity placing first in the season and second in the tournament and JV going 8-1 in the conference.
She said, “We had quite a few seventh-graders who made a big difference on both of those squads last year who are back as eighth-graders with a permanent spot on varsity.”