Coming off last year’s 13-3 season and state tournament appearance, the Smyrna High volleyball squad brings back plenty of seniors and several key returning players. But the Eagles don’t want to get ahead of themselves. Instead of talking about a conference title or the state tournament, they’re focusing on the first game on the schedule.

 


Coming off last year’s 13-3 season and state tournament appearance, the Smyrna High volleyball squad brings back plenty of seniors and several key returning players.

But the Eagles don’t want to get ahead of themselves.

Instead of talking about a conference title or the state tournament, they’re focusing on the first game on the schedule.

“I want to take the first game as the biggest game, go from there and climb the ladder,” said head coach Danny Wandless, who has led the school’s varsity volleyball team since the beginning of the program four years ago.

The team captains will be seniors Caryn Deakyne and Jaime Sims, both four-year varsity players who have been with the program since the start.

“We have some experience on the court this year,” Wandless said. “There’s a lot of senior leadership, especially coming from Caryn and Jaime. They set the tone, and that’s what I expect from them.”

But the Eagles still have some big shoes to fill due to the graduation of some key players.

“Because we lost Chelsea Markel, we’re still experimenting to see who will be our setter,” Wandless said.

Smyrna also lost Courtney Yannacci and Bethany Abramson to graduation.

Looking ahead to the upcoming season, Wandless said he wants the girls to work more closely as a team, and to have fun with what they’re doing.

“Each player has to be as good as they can in the role they’ve been given,” he said.

Wandless said the strength of the team right now is the hitting, but he also wants to see the Eagles become a stronger defensive unit by the end of the season.

Jaime Sims said versatility will be another strength for the team.

“I think everyone on the team has good all-around playing ability,” she said.

Caryn Deakyne wants to see the team work hard to prepare for the season.

“I think we’re just ready to start things off,” she said.

As seniors, the captains want to have a great final season, but they also want to prepare the younger players to take over once they graduate.

“We’re trying to push everyone so we can leave something behind,” said Sims.

Marc Deisem returns to coach the J.V. squad, and Courtney Markiewicz will also help the Eagles.

Also joining the coaching staff this year is Robin Bautista, who coached at Polytech last year.

“These girls have a lot of potential,” Bautista said. “Hopefully we can take it off the paper and put it to good use on the court.”


2008 Smyrna High volleyball schedule*

Sept. 5       Lake Forest                   5 p.m.
Sept. 9       Red Lion                        4 p.m.
Sept. 12     at Delaware Military    5 p.m.
Sept. 16     Sussex Central            5 p.m.
Sept. 18     at Caesar Rodney       5 p.m.
Sept. 23     Mt. Pleasant                  5 p.m.
Sept. 25     Dover                             5 p.m.
Sept. 30     St. Andrew’s                 5 p.m.
Oct. 2          at Lake Forest              5 p.m.
Oct. 7          at Indian River              6 p.m.
Oct. 14        Polytech                        5 p.m.
Oct. 16        Delmar                          5 p.m.
Oct. 21        at Cape Henlopen      5 p.m.
Oct. 23        at Delmarva Christian 5:30 p.m.

*Home matches in bold