Weekly Feature

2014-09-10 / Sports

Young guns lead the way for Ken West girls volleyball


The future of the Kenmore West girls volleyball program is playing now as the team has just three seniors on the roster. The Lady Blue Devils will be featuring five underclassmen this season and hope they can supply a spark to a team that finished 6-10 overall last year. Of those five underclassmen, two are captains this season.

Head coach Kelly Strong named junior outside hitter Dana Mancuso a captain, in addition to freshman setter Abby Borkowski and sophomore libero Erin Veronica.

“We will be working the rest of the lineup around those three,” Strong said. “They are captains because they lead by example, they are hard workers and they are three of the most consistent and best players on the court.”

Mancuso is a powerful outside hitter that gives the Lady Blue Devils some aggressiveness on the pin. She’s not afraid to swing at the ball and can rack up a lot of kills.

“She has to be consistent and knows that she is relied upon a lot,” Strong said. “But she doesn’t let the pressure get to her. She is my rock out there.”

Borkowski started last year as a setter. She will continue in that role but in a varied 6-2 system. When she reaches the front row, instead of hitting on the right side — which is typical for a setter in the 6-2 system — Borkowski will be hitting on the outside. Veronica returns to be the leader on defense, as she will be taking care of the six-spot as the libero.

The other setter for Kenmore West’s 6-2 system this season will be eighth-grader Samantha Veronica, who is Erin’s younger sister. She is outspoken which works well for her to communicate as a setter.

With all of the young talent on the roster, Kenmore West’s style of play will start off basic. Strong said she expects for mistakes to be made, but she cares more about how the team responds.

“We will start off basic until we get consistent with that, and we’ll be looking to be more aggressive than in the past,” she said. “We’ve got some girls that can swing and hit the ball.”

One of the strengths of this year’s squad is the way they play scrappy defense. That allows the Lady Blue Devils to extend rallies and helps force the opposition to make mistakes. If Kenmore West can play scrappy against the teams in their division, Strong said the Lady Blue Devils can extend their season deeper into the playoffs.

“If we are in every single match, then we can win a lot of matches,” she said. “I see us really going far in the league.”

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