Elks look to continue improving in 2016 season
Special to the Whig
The Elkton High School volleyball team took a step forward in 2015, the program’s first year back in the Susquehanna Division, posting a 4-10 division record (4-12 overall). Second-year coach Amy Sexton hopes to build on that foundation, and continue to improve in 2016.
“The girls know that my philosophy coming in last year was to work hard, and building the program from the bottom up,” Sexton said. “We started last year with that, and I am looking for us to have a winning season this year — that’s my main goal.”
Senior Emily Waldridge is the key returner for the Golden Elks after being nominated to the All-County honorable mention team last season. The outside hitter should be the driving force in the Elkton offense.
A pair of juniors also return from last year’s starting lineup— middle hitter Jaycie Coates and defensive specialist Erica Vincent. Senior Jayanna Redden will also see an expanded role at the outside hitter position.
“Everybody has come back with great attitudes, came back in good shape, and have just been working really hard,” Sexton said. “We still have a lot to work on to get ready for our first official match, but with their dedication and their outlook on everything, we are looking to have a good season.”
Sophomore Courtney Hardy has been the most impressive younger player for Sexton’s squad, and she should see plenty of time as both a setter and outside hitter this season. Freshman Jessica Baldino has also shown promise, though she will likely split her time between the junior varsity and varsity this year.
With just two seniors on the team, Sexton knows that the benefits of the learning experiences the team accumulates this year will be seen beyond just this season.
“Knowing the teams that we have in this county, it pushes the girls to be better,” she said. “I think a lot of them played a lot of club ball, and this summer they were playing too — I think they want that winning feeling. They want to play against better competition because that will only make us better. I keep telling them ‘It’s not only about winning, it’s about improving every time that we play.”
The Elkton volleyball team will open the 2016 season with increased expectations.