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Young Eagles volleyball team rebuilding
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The 2019 Turlock Christian varsity volleyball team has eight players on this year’s squad (EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal).

The Turlock Christian varsity volleyball team has high hopes for this year, despite losing seven players from last season to graduation.

“We are expected to come in fearless, which is tough when they haven’t played the sport or the level,” said head coach Josephine Anderson. “But they have shown me how fearless they are. When it is not what they want, they try again.” 

Last season, Anderson set, what she says are, ‘measurable goals.’

“I like measurable goals, I definitely had some that were made and not made, shooting certain place in conference, but I’m happy with improvement,” said Anderson. 

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Mikayla Ray of Turlock Christian is expected to be one of the standout players for the Eagles this season (EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal).

That improvement saw them go from four wins to six last season. 

The Eagles went 6-6 during league play in the Central California Athletic Alliance and won 21 sets, while dropping 20. 

During the final five game-stretch of the season last fall, the Eagles went 3-2 while outscoring opponents, 9-1, finishing two games in straight sets. 

Heading into the new season, Anderson will rely on veteran leaders. Some of those girls include junior Mikayla Ray and senior Jyllian Knight. 

“They’ve been conditioning during the summer and they are gelling as a team. They are leaders, but the rest of the girls is like a new start for the whole team and I think they are taking that challenge well.” 

It wasn’t long ago that the Eagles saw major success in volleyball.  From 2012-2014, the Eagles won three straight Sac-Joaquin Section Division-VI titles. They got bumped up a division in playoffs following those three straight titles and in 2015, they reached the SJS D-V semifinal. 

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Head coach Josephine Anderson of Turlock Christian varsity volleyball talks to her squad during the first week of practice (EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal).

“As a coach I hope they give 100 percent and see improvement, whether it is conditioning or on the court, just overall,” said Anderson.

Joining the Eagles varsity roster this year is a pair of seniors who have never played before. 

“This team has so many girls being new to the sport and varsity, super excited about that,” said Anderson.

TC will kick off the season on the road at Victory Christian at 6 p.m. Aug. 20.