In his second year back with the program, Turlock Christian's varsity volleyball head coach Ken Wynne is optimistic about his team's ability to compete against their opponents for the upcoming year.
In 2016, the TC Eagles found themselves in a rebuilding year, losing almost the entire team and boasting only eight in last year’s team that went 3-21 overall, including a CCAA record of 2-10. A big change from the 2015 season, when TC went 22-9 and 11-1 in CCAA.
“We didn't have the most successful season last year but we did see the potential for what would be there,” said Wynne. “They played their hearts out and came together as a team with a small roster. Nobody ever gave up despite our record, we just didn't have fire power and depth like previous years.”
Despite a losing season, coach Wynne emphasized that the team's main achievement was how they were able to mesh.
“Main thing we saw was how they came together at the end,” said Wynne.
TC is returning only three from a year ago, but the upcoming juniors have great potential.
One of the main focuses for this year will be working in sync and getting to know where the team and players would be on the court said Wynne.
“That will be key this year,” he said. “We need to pull together as a team, since these returners need to push the rest of the team to come together and come together quickly.”
Only four players are returners with two seniors, Zoe Visaraga and Nicole Mendonca.
The returning juniors include Sydney Mensonides and Danika Muller, however, Muller is currently on a mission trip and won't return until Sep. 2.
“This year we have those four who will be our leaders. We will rely on those four with such a young team,” said Wynne. “I always look forward and can't really look back on that because the girls are completely different from the squad we had before and there are always lessons learned.”
The team is also boasting a total of 11 players so far, two more than last season, which includes one freshman.
“All teams work on fundamentals, but we are trying to improve on as the season goes on and improve game-play and toughen up our desire — this will be key this year,” said Wynne. “We just need to use what we have now and hopefully it will come together for us.”
Despite winning just two league games last season in the Central California Athletic Association, the TC Eagles are eager to best that record.
“The goal is always to capture a league title, of course you want to have a better record, but the competition is really tough,” Wynne added. “There are numerous teams who can take the league championship, and we have so many young players, but the girls seem fired up and they want to improve from last year and compete with the best teams we face, which is great early on and they are very energized right now.”
The first game for the Eagles will be at the Orestimba Tournament on Aug. 26.