With a new coach and dazzling win over Gunderson, SLV volleyball is in high spirits

With the start of the school year came the start of a fresh season for the SLV JV girls volleyball team. The team has a chance to redeem themselves this year, and some new leadership might do the trick. This year SLV has coach Sydney Mongiello to guide them through the season. Grace Peters said “Our coach is very enthusiastic and I think she is great coach. Coach Sydney has helped coach multiple seasons for SLV volleyball, as well as being the head coach for the boys volleyball team last season.

So far, the team has come into the season with back to back losses. Even though the team has come out with a rough start, the players still believe they could have good season. Mia Torres stated “As always, we have hope for a great season, but I have a feeling that the team is going to lose a lot this year.” As the team’s setter, Mia says “If the team works together, we could have a chance at winning some games.” Last year the team had a pretty mediocre season, so this year, they hope to be able to redeem themselves.

The jv volleyball team is composed of mostly sophomores with one junior and two freshman. All the sophomores this year played together as freshmen last year. This gives the team an advantage because most of the team already has experience playing together. In addition to the core sophomore players, there is the addition of the two freshmen who were pulled up to JV, and the older junior, who should help the team a lot.

Some of the stand out players on the team this year are hitters Emily Lahey and Jalie Edgemon, as well as the team’s setter Mia Torres. In addition the team’s captains are Grace Peters, Mia Torres, and Jalie Edgemon.

So far this year, the team has played Notre Dame Watsonville, Gunderson high and Pacific Grove. Mia Torres believes “Both teams were hard to play against, but Pacific Grove was the hardest.” Even though Pacific Grove was supposedly the Better team to play, Mia said “We fought hardest against Pacific Grove and I think we did well as a team.” The Cougar team hopes to keep improving and hopefully get their first win soon. The team’s next game is at Soquel high school against the Knights.

The SLV varsity volleyball team started out the season with an important win against Gunderson high! This game marked the first win for the cougars in over a year. After the JV team lost to Gunderson, hopes weren’t too high, but the team was able to pull through in the end with a win. The team even won 3 out of three matches against Gunderson, making it a sweep. After being swept by Notre Dame Of Watsonville, they turned it around on Gunderson. Sophomore right side hitter Hailey Lang has a positive outlook on the season. “I think we have a very promising team this year.” Hailey played her first year as a freshman on the varsity team. After being pulled up last year, she is definitely an asset to the team.

Another new thing about the team this year is their coach. Kasia Gniewoz is the new coach for the varsity team this year. Both Mia Metoyer and Zoe Mendez both said that they think their coach is going to help them out a lot this year. Mia said “Kasia definitely has a lot of experience coaching and she also played recently for SLV.” Gniewoz certainly does have a good amount of experience coaching. She has coached anywhere from the boys and girls middle school volleyball teams, to JV girls volleyball last year, and finally, coaching the girls Varsity team this year. When talking about girls volleyball, it is very important to have a good coach because volleyball is one of the most competitive girls sports in the bay area. Before coaching, Kasia also played libero for SLV. The players feel that having a coach that knows what it is like to play is very helpful.

The team this year is composed of mostly juniors and seniors with few sophomore players. This will be the last year playing at SLV for the seniors, so they are all hoping for a good last season. The teams setter, Zoe Mendez said, “I think that the team is much better than last year, and I think we should have a promising season.” The team has a very challenging schedule coming up, as they take on teams like St. Francis, Mount Madonna and Harbor. Last year, the team didn’t win almost any of their matches, so with a win against Gunderson High under their belt, the Cougars could be able to turn this year into a winning season.

By Isaac Wallace-Menge

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