Lady Shamrocks season outlook - Injuries already an issue

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The Lady Shamrocks will begin the 2011 volleyball season after finishing second in the Class 2 state tournament last season.  Valley Catholic beat the Rocks in the championship match by a small margin.  If a few plays had went differently, the Rocks' the outcome could have been better.

We sat down with Head Coach Sharen Speckhals to discuss this year's team potential and her outlook on the season.  The Rocks only return with three of their starters from last year, which means they will need girls to step up.

Speckhals feels her team has the potential to be successful if they are able to stay healthy and understand the amount of dedication and hard work it takes to make it through districts and hopefully back to the Class 2 finial four.  Speckhals said, “Before looking ahead to districts and especially the state tournament, we need to focus on every game and not look any further ahead than that night."

We asked Speckhals if she felt this year’s team has been progressing at the same pace as last year.  Speckhals said, “I feel our team is at the same stage as last year and I think we may have more potential.”  Speckhals said, "There are a lot of unknowns right now."  The Rocks have five girls battling injuries and already questions whether or not some of them will be able to play at all.

Speckhals hopes that some of the sophomores can be key players later in the season.  She plans to have several of those sophomores from the JV dress out with the Varsity.  Speckhals said, “I am not sure if some of the younger girls understand the difference there is in regards to the pace of a Varsity game and a JV game.  There may be a few Juniors who play JV first, we kind of look at our JV team similar to that of a farm team.  It does a player no good who has the potential to play Varsity, but are just not there yet and by getting them playing time and as many touches as possible, they very well could be a big contributor later in the season.”

The talent and ability is there but Speckhals’ biggest concern is the lack of  experience and if the players understand what it takes to be as successful as last year.  Speckhals said, “At times it will not be all about winning, but getting players playing time and improving every game.  We will have bumps in the road and over coming them will only make us stronger and better.”

The Lady Rocks season opener will be Mon., Aug 29 at Timberland, and the next night at Belle.  Their first home opener will be that Thur., Sept 1.