Chariho returning starters

Returning starters for the Chariho girls volleyball team, from left, Alexis Cole, Katja Nelson and Jules White. | Photo courtesy Kathy McGeehan

Head coach: Kathy McGeehan (third season). Assistant coach: Shawn Cole.

Last year: The Chargers finished 14-6, advancing to the Division II semifinals where they lost to West Warwick, which fell in the finals to finish 20-1.

Returning to varsity:

Senior: Randi Swenson. Juniors: Finleigh Callahan, Alexis Cole, Emma Kocab, Katja Nelson, Jules White.

New to varsity:

Senior: Abigail McCalister. Juniors: Elle Clark, Maicey MacLeod. Sophomores: Brianna DeGiacomo, Grace MacLeod, Erin O’Leary.

Outlook: Chariho is looking to improve upon last year’s season.

Given the fact the Chargers played in the D-II semifinals last season, making the finals would seem to be the next step. Coach McGeehan is not ready to make that assertion just yet, but she certainly didn’t rule it out.

“It seems each year we have as a goal to do better than last year. I would say if the team continues to progress and form that bond on and off the court, we are going to reach that goal of being better than last year,” McGeehan said. “How that manifests itself, we will see. They’ve done the work in the offseason and set their goals really high.”

Chariho returns three starters in White (opposite hitter), Cole (setter) and Nelson (middle hitter).

Kocab will take over the libero position. Callahan and O’Leary will contribute as outside hitters. Clarke will play in the outside and in the middle.

McGeehan also expects others to contribute — depth will be a strength for the Chargers.

“This particular year the juniors, some of whom have played since their freshman year, are really coming into their own,” McGeehan said.

McGeehan expects the Chargers will excel on defense.

“So far in the gym, I think our defense has been strong. We’ve shown some grit and have relentless pursuit of the ball. We take pride in outhustling our opponents,” McGeehan said.

Coach’s take: “I would say one of the things that is going to help us is what that second team is doing in the gym every day. They are pushing the starters because of our depth. The level of volleyball we are seeing in the gym has risen. We are going to have some depth.”

— Keith Kimberlin

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