Adgate, Zalewski, Crofford set to take charge of young Fauquier volleyball team
Tuesday, Aug. 27
Graduation losses leave the Fauquier High volleyball team in the capable hands of sophomore Katie Crofford, senior Josie Adgate and junior Eliane Zalewski. --Fauquier Times Staff Photo/Randy Litzinger
Coaches frequently use the analogy of solving a jigsaw puzzle when discussing the formation of a team for a new season.
Each piece must connect tightly with its neighbor before the next elements of the construction can proceed. Inaccurate or incomplete assembly means a final solution is never reached.
The 2012 Fauquier High volleyball team went 14-13, placed second in the Evergreen District to Kettle Run and made the Region II tournament.
Sis seniors graduated, including first team all-Evergreen District performers Justina Augustine, Samie Cooper and Jackie Babos.
Two of last fall's top juniors opted not to return, so this edition of one of the school's most successful programs looks inexperienced.
Six players do return, however, but coach Diana Story is facing the prospect of putting together a very complicated jigsaw puzzle.
"We are going to be very, very, very young," said Story in a matter-of-fact voice.
Story agreed the jigsaw puzzle analogy is apt for the current group as she and assistant coach Jen Linthicum are sorting out various pieces.
"We're working in parts. Even now, there's no one piece of the puzzle that's solidified," Story said.
Fauquier is focusing on drills that emphasize one of two facets. Once proficiency increases in the foundation skills, Story will integrate game scenarios.
"When we do drills, they are done to get them to focus on that particular skill, not the entire game," said Story. "It's a matter of getting better day by day. We have skills, but we definitely need to get better."
Story said the program, which won Evergreen District titles in 2008 and 2011, is not working from ground zero and that the building blocks are in place for a victorious season.
"It's about the level of play, there is a definite knowledge here," she said. "And you can't teach the chemistry we have now. I think it will take the first quarter of the season to see what we have."
Josie Adgate is the Falcons' lone senior. She joins junior Eliane Zalewski and sophomore Katie Crofford as the team's leaders.
Brittany Rininger, Angella North, and Sydney Downs are the other varsity veterans.
Ashley Newman, Rachael Hudson, Rachel Keithley, Willow Payne, Leah Cate, Laura Cornish, Caia Webb, Elisabeth Heras, Katy Joyce and LeAnn Brown are the newcomers.
The coaches have elected to go with a 16-girl squad to start the year.
The 2013 Falcon junior varsity consists of Sharon Blevins, Lexi Boone, Amanda Box, Rachel Crawford, Megan Dietrich, Jennifer Kovalik, Josie Murphy, Kaiya Olsen and Madailine St. Ledger.
New postseason format
The Fauquier High volleyball team will tackle a schedule different from past ones. Culpeper and Eastern View enter the Evergreen District, while Warren County leaves.
The largest change, however, is the beginning of the Virginia High School League's conference system where every school advances to postseason play.
The Evergreen District will crown a regular season champion but the district post-season tournament has been eliminated for practical reasons.
Fauquier joins Liberty, Eastern View, Courtland, King George and Chancellor in the Conference 22 tournament.
The top two in that playoff advance to the Group 4A North Regional playoffs.
"We want to win the regular season title, definitely, but the what matters is the conference," said Story.
She said the Falcons "have what it takes" to meet team goals. "It's a matter of knowing they can do it and develop the consistency needed to get better."
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