South volleyball will attempt to defend last season’s district championship

By: Mark Vest | Grosse Pointe Times | Published September 12, 2017

Grosse Pointe South volleyball coach Kevin Nugent has become pretty familiar with what a winning team looks like.

South has won four Class A district championships in the last five years and one regional title, which the program captured in 2014.

Whether or not South has another successful playoff run could depend on how some of the team’s more inexperienced players develop during the course of the season.

“With us, there’s a lot of different pieces that if they do develop, we should do very well,” Nugent said. “I’m hoping that those pieces come together. … We’ll see how long it takes for them to get through that development. I’m hoping its sooner than later.”

Although South has some young players who may still need to find their way, the program also has veterans such as Chandlar Duff, Lauren Toenjes, Charlotte Brecht and Cindy Hogan in the mix.

Duff has committed to play for the University of Oregon, and Nugent would like to see her play reach a new level in her final season with the program.

“Chandlar’s been in the program for a number of years,” he said. “This should be a year where she really shines. … She’s a senior and she’s had a lot of expectations put on her. … I’d like to see her play hit that level that we’ve been expecting her to get to.”

Nugent is also interested in seeing how his outside hitters develop.

“They’re very young, and not immature, but inexperienced. They’ve been there, but mostly on the sidelines,” the coach said. “They don’t really have a lot of match experience under their belts for varsity. I’m interested to see how they develop. There’s promise there.”

Nugent said he hopes the identity of his team will be one that is scrappy, attacking and has good fundamentals. Having an understanding of how things have been done in the past could help this year’s squad achieve at a high level.

“I think there’s a better understanding of what’s required to do well,” Nugent said. “Not (an) expectation, but just understanding what goes into those runs; knowing what’s required. Then you hope everyone buys in and wants to repeat every year and put in the same effort.”

Up next, South plays at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 14 at Sterling Heights Stevenson before returning home to take on Clinton Township Chippewa Valley at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 21.