The 2013 version of the Wasp volleyball squad is nothing short of energetic and feeling pretty confident about a competitive season.
Head coach, Joe Mellen, now in his 14th year at the helm of Wasatch volleyball, chooses not to dwell on the trying season of 2012 and instead takes the positives from the experience.
“You know, we had to finish up the year with mostly juniors and sophomores,” Mellen recalled. “But what we got from it was some tremendous game experience. The younger girls from last year are now experienced and ready to go.”
Mellen has 28 total players on his roster for the 2013 campaign and only three of those girls are seniors. Two of those three, Tristin Bills and Hailee Coleman, will lead his team as captains. Jessica Fishler is the third senior on the team.
“They were out there last year pretty much from the beginning, so it’s not a huge step-up for them,” added the head coach. “There’s only three of them though, but luckily they’ve got a pretty good supporting cast.”
Junior Annie Huntsman will serve as the third varsity captain this season and will be counted on heavily to be a leader for the future. The Wasps will send many juniors to the floor during the campaign including Emma Kelson, Liz Bryan, Erika Hunsaker, Madison Richards, Sydney Richards and McKay Riddle.
The Wasps will continue to prepare as they always have even though the move to 4A could present a few more challenges for the young group. “3A was always competitive,” Mellen stated. “I expect the normal differences with the bigger schools—size and power, but we’re there now too. So, we’ll just really have to step it up.”
Wasatch will rely on some pretty decent height at the net and hope the big hits come when the opportunities are there. During the team’s final practice before it’s season opener Tuesday night at Payson, Mellen and assistant coach Tasha Peacock were encouraging the girls to be aggressive. “If we can do some of the things I know we’re capable of, then we’ll have a good season,” Mellen added.
After the Payson match, the Wasps open their season at home on Thursday, august 29 against Grantsville.