Following a successful season for Bishop Foley’s volleyball team last year, coach Brian Kim knew the 2012 season would be one of transition.
Foley graduated seven seniors from a squad last year, which captured league, conference, district and regional championships. And while Kim realized the loss of that many seniors would change the look of his team, what he didn’t want to change was the expectations for the program.
Prior to the season, Kim stated that the “goals are the same.” With the regular season winding down, Kim believes the Ventures still have a chance to make this season a successful one.
At press time, Foley was 11-11-6 overall, 3-4-0 in the Catholic High School League West Division. And while Foley has not gotten off to the same kind of strong start that led to an overall record of 30-3-5 last year, Kim believes the best from this season’s squad is yet to come.
“I think we’re right where I expected the team to be,” he said. “I knew this group of players were going to have to learn how to play on the court, and they’re picking it up now. I knew it was going to be a little bit of a learning experience to get the girls up to speed. They’re looking good. They’re still learning, but I think they’re going to come on strong by the end of the year.”
Seniors Abbie Lama and Emma Wonsil have helped to account for Kim’s optimistic attitude about his team’s chances. Due to the high number of seniors on last year’s squad, neither player played a big role in their junior season.
Wonsil is Foley’s outside hitter, while Lama plays the middle hitter position, and according to Kim, both have stepped up nicely for the Ventures.
“They were able to step in and be team leaders, in terms of being captains, as well as being strong players on the court,” Kim said. “They knew what the expectations were from me. They knew how to play (last year), they just didn’t get the opportunity to show it on the court. Now that they do have that opportunity, they’re taking advantage of it.”
All of the titles the Ventures accumulated last season made for one of the best seasons in the history of the program, but it may have inadvertently created pressure amongst current players to attempt to duplicate last season’s success.
But as the Ventures head toward their stretch run, Kim has noticed a change.
“The start of the season, they might have played under a little pressure (because of) how well they performed last year,” he said. “But over the past couple weeks, the girls look like they’re OK with having their own identity. They’re starting to play a lot better.”