By Rick Palsgrove
The sound of hands smacking volleyballs over the net and the squeaking of sneakers on the hardwood floor are filling the air this summer in the Groveport Madison High School gym.
Groveport Madison High School Cruiser volleyball players are using some of their summer to work on skills to prepare for their season opener in August.
The Cruiser varsity, junior varsity, and freshman volleyball players gather for informal open gym sessions at the high school twice a week. There they perform drills to perfect their techniques in passing, setting, blocking, and spiking as well as staying in playing shape.
The varsity finished 10-13 last season, but head coach Matt White feels the team will improve on that record this fall.
“We have a good squad coming back,” said White. “We have good hitters and passers. The one hole we have is at the setter position, so we will be rebuilding there since our setter from last year graduated. The season will be on the backs of our setters.”
White noted two senior players who will play valuable roles for the team this year.
“Our middle hitter Michela Ayers is one our most influential players,” said White. “Lizarely Martinez is an outside hitter on our front row and she’ll transition to setter in our back row.”
White said the Cruiser volleyball program has a lot of freshmen players and the summer open gym sessions help the young players grow.
“We have 23 freshman, so the more work they get, the better their opportunity to improve,” said White. “Some of our better freshmen could join the junior varsity. Our freshmen are going to get a crash course in Cruiser volleyball this year and our upperclassmen will help mentor them.”
The 2019 Cruiser varsity volleyball schedule:
Aug. 17, 9 a.m. at Whitehall Tri-Match;
Aug. 21, 7:30 p.m. at Licking Heights;
Aug. 22, 7 p.m. Central Crossing;
Aug. 27, 7 p.m. at Pickerington North;
Sept. 3, 7 p.m. at Franklin Heights;
Sept. 5, 7 p.m. Canal Winchester;
Sept. 10, 7 p.m. at New Albany;
Sept. 12, 7 p.m. Newark;
Sept. 14, 11:15 a.m. at Bexley;
Sept. 17, 7 p.m. at Big Walnut;
Sept. 18, 7 p.m. at Westland;
Sept. 19, 7 p.m. Franklin Heights;
Sept. 24, 7 p.m. at Canal Winchester;
Sept. 26, 7 p.m. New Albany;
Sept. 28, noon Whetstone;
Sept. 30, 7 p.m. Reynoldsburg;
Oct. 3, 7 p.m. at Newark; Oct. 5, 11:30 a.m. at Hamilton Township;
Oct. 10, 7 p.m. Big Walnut.