The Lindsay Thurber Raider senior girls volleyball team opened exhibition play on Wednesday night at Hunting Hills against the Lightning. The Raiders hope to make another run to provincials this season after earning a silver medal on home court last year. (Photo by Byron Hackett/ Advocate Staff)

Lindsay Thurber Raiders senior girls volleyball expect big things from seniors

For the Lindsay Thurber Raiders senior girls volleyball team, the objective is clear.

They have unfinished business from last season after a loss in the Alberta Schools Athletic Association 4A provincial final on home court. With a senior laden group including eight returning girls, head coach Kirsten DeZutter hopes they can make another deep run.

The raiders won in dominant 4-0 performance (25-12, 25-8, 25-9, 25-13) to open the exhibition season at Hunting Hills Wednesday, but this stage of the year is all about development and improvement.

With two tournaments down and the season just getting in gear, DeZutter said that with a goal every game, set and match, she hopes her team will develop into perennial contenders at the provincial level.

“We’re just trying to play as consistently as we can. One of our team goals is be really committed to passing and our in-system play. We set a few goals at the beginning of the match. I’m pleased with the performance,” she said.

“We’re really hoping to be competitive provincially. Alberta is really strong and it’s going to be tough to get our of our zone so that’s our first goal. Everyone is going to be battling because there’s only one berth.”

Hayley Lalor is back setting for Lindsay Thurber this season and Journey Flewell should be a force again as a hitter. Edyn Aasman, Riley deWit, Emma Holmes, Kira Weddell, Lauren Pasiuk and Jamie Lalor are all also returning.

Defence has always been a calling card for the Raiders, but with all of the starting six back for a second season under the same head coach, DeZutter hopes they can add some unique flair to the offence for the 2017 season.

“We typically try to pride ourselves on passing but this year we are looking for a more diversified attack,” DeZutter said.

“I’m really pleased with how that’s going so far. The goal is to be able to launch a variable attack. They’re on board with the game plan.”

They’ll host Lacombe on Sept. 20 at home. The first three games of the season are exhibition before league play officially starts on Oct. 18.

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