Thursday night the Steinbrenner Volleyball team won its season opener against Sickles under first-year head coach Laura Stegenga.
The match was a three set victory with scores of 25-16, 26-24 and 25-21 for the lady Warriors, against a 6A district 11 opponent. Junior Rachel Mathison led the way with 10 kills and sophomore Avery Bradshaw scored seven more. Junior Casey McLean had 13 assists to help the offense; in addition, she had three aces to go with Mathison’s four. Libero, senior Natalia Campos, led the defense with 15 serve receptions.
“(The girls) have been working really hard, they absolutely deserve it. They applied everything we did in practice,” said Stegenga. “They came out and their energy is so strong right now that if they keep playing like that they’ll be fantastic.”
Steinbrenner is currently ranked 52 in the state of Florida according to Maxpreps.com coming off of their 24-6 campaign a season ago with only three seniors on the team. Nine of the ten listed players on this years warrior roster are returning from that season, sophomore Ryann Martin is the only new face. Again the team has only three seniors, but according to Stegenga their leadership is invaluable, especially outside hitter Madison Seuzeneau.
“[Seuzeneau] is incredible, she’s always listening, she’s always looking to me for feedback after a positive play and after a negative play. That empowers me and shows the rest of the team to respect and do what I need them to do, she always kind of leads that for the team,” said Stegenga.
When asked what needed improvement moving forward, Stegenga said, “We focused so much on our defense and our serve receive its time to get into our offense and being a little bit more aggressive on our offense, when I say aggressive I’m not meaning stronger, they’re all already stronger hitters, but placing the ball, where the ball needs to be at.”
Steinbrenner continues district play in their second match at Wiregrass Ranch on Monday the 10th of September.
Zealand Shannon / Sports Editor