Preview: Wheeler girls volleyball

Preview: Wheeler girls volleyball



Head coach:

Jeff Cummings (1st season).

Assistant coaches:

Jessica Biekert, Paola Batta-Lona (volunteer).

Last year:

Wheeler finished 9-13 overall and 2-6 in ECC Division II. The Lions also qualified for the ECC and Class S state tournaments.

Returning to varsity:

Seniors:

Savannah Galluci (OH-S), Lanette Hernandez (libero), Sadie Hill (OH), Valerie Knowles (RSH), Jessica Neddeau (M), Sarah Spracklin (OH).

Juniors:

Sam Caster (S), Moira Mason (libero), Amanda Regine (libero).

Sophomores:

Megan Amaral (RSH), Molly Butremovic (M).

New to varsity: None.

Outlook:

Spracklin, Gallucci and Neddeau will be the returning senior leaders for this year’s team.

Hernandez appears to be the team’s defensive specialist or libero. Regine will also be a strong player for the Lions.

Spracklin was an All-ECC Division-II honorable-mention selection last season.

“I think our offense will be pretty strong for our division,” Cummings said. “Even though we have some challenges, I think we will have a fairly strong offense and pretty solid defense.”

Wheeler did lose a number of valuable seniors. Adjusting to their loss may be one of the biggest challenges facing the team.

“Filling in those spots for the seniors that left and bonding as a team,” Cummings said of the challenges facing the Lions. “We have to find a team identity and establish team leaders.”

Cummings, who works at Pfizer, was an assistant coach at Waterford last season. He lives in Ledyard.

The league has been realigned into four divisions. Wheeler will be competing against New London, Windham and Putnam in Division IV. Wheeler was 6-0 against those teams last season.

The Lions will play all of their games on the road due to a school construction project.

Coach’s take:

“We want to make our players better, have a better record than last year and make the playoffs.”

— Keith Kimberlin


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