Head coach: Erinn Beal (third season). Assistant coach: Rana Hamelin.
Last year: Westerly finished 12-8, losing to Burrillville in the second round of the Division II tournament.
Returning to varsity:
Seniors: Adrienne Bowen (setter, RS), Rebekah Collins (M), Anna Cozzolino (M, captain), Daisy Gates (OH, captain), Kylee Marley (M, RS), Olivia Marsh (setter, OH, captain), Natalie Rekstis (RS, OH), Emma Stahl (RS, M). Juniors: Paige Anderson (M, RS), Alex Beal (OH, captain). Sophomores: Meg Beal (setter, M), Megan Cavallo (OH), Carly Chretien (OH), Arianna Fusaro (RS), Sara Ridler (M, OH), Lila Simmons (M).
New to varsity: None.
Outlook: Westerly lost two All-Division players in Megan Albamonti and Alex Mitchell, but still returns some experience.
Cozzolino, who emerged as a thrower for the track team last spring, looks to build on last season’s play in the middle.
“She looks even better than last year,” Beal said.
Gates was third-team All-Division last season and is a consistent hitter, as is Beal. Marsh will step into the setter’s role.
Westerly will also get a lift with the return of Marley. Marley suffered a foot injury during warmups before the opening match last season that resulted in an injury that also caused her to miss the basketball season.
“Kylee coming back will make a big difference. She’s 5-11 and she can hit with both hands,” Beal said. “She is a great blocker and a hard worker.”
Beal expects the team to be effective with its hitting.
“I think we are going to be more consistent and smarter with our hits,” Beal said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a tip, a hit or a down ball, it’s more about where you place it. We talked about it a lot last year.”
The program has 12 freshmen and Beal expects some will move to varsity before the season ends.
Coach’s take: “I would like to go back to the playoffs, every coach feels that way I’m sure. Hopefully, we can go further than we did last year.”