The Hunting Hills Lightning senior girls volleyball team knows they face an uphill battle this season.
After all, there’s only one berth in Central Alberta for provincials and the two teams who represented the region last year, haven’t really lost a step.
While the Lightning don’t intend to measure themselves against the Lindsay Thurber Raiders and Notre Dame Cougars of the world, they will have to battle them week after week when league play officially starts after thanksgiving and that will be no easy task.
In his first year coaching the senior girls, Adam Sillery, who’s been behind the bench at both the high school level and RDC said his team is still ironing out the kinks through three weeks of preseason play.
“We’ve seen a lot of highs and lows. We just need consistency. If we can play at our top level for a longer time, I think that we can push some of the teams in Central Alberta,” he said.
“Central Alberta is very strong, Lindsay Thurber will be highly ranked and Notre Dame could be top 12 and they have some outstanding players too. From a younger team, we’re just looking to be as consistently competitive as possible.”
The Lightning have a mix of returning players with four grade 12s, but a larger contingent of grade 11s (five) and grade 10s (three).
Power Sydney Rix, who was the team MVP in 2016 is back with the Lightning along with Abbi Galloway and Emily Stewart.
That likely marks a rebuilding phase for the Lightning, which on a game-to-game basis makes the lineup choices interesting for the head coach.
“I think we have some versatility and we can move players around,” Sillery said.
“Nobody has really established themselves in a primary role. We can play with some lineups and do some different things which makes it fun.”