OLDS — École Olds High School senior boys volleyball coach Kristy Hartt says this year’s squad has a good blend of experience and new blood that should result in an exciting season.
In an email, Hartt said the 2022 edition of the team has nine returning players, some of whom have played some club volleyball, “so my hope is that we will have some high-quality leadership on the team to maintain consistency throughout the season.”
The younger guys could be in for a steep learning curve.
“Due to COVID, some of the younger players coming up have not had any major exposure to volleyball, so this will be their first year having regular practices and access to watch and hopefully play in games,” Hartt wrote.
Fortunately the whole squad will be getting some extra help from athletes at Olds Agricultural & Technical College.
“They will be doing a technical night for us once a week so the players can get direction from highly skilled players and in turn improve their own game,” Hartt wrote, adding she’s really grateful for that help.
The team will have some height which could prove key at the net. Hartt estimates the average height of this year’s Spartans squad is about six feet.
“My son is getting closer to 6’4 so he is the tallest on the team,” she noted.
However, Hartt said height isn’t everything in volleyball.
“You can be tall, but if you don’t have control over your body, it doesn’t offer you much of an advantage. We have a very naturally athletic team so that is the advantage,” she wrote.
“Volleyball is such a mental game, so with any team, I feel that is the biggest battle most seasons,” she wrote.
Hartt said the key is “keeping consistent,” and having “mental stability” during the ebbs and flows of the game.
“Last year, we had moments where we lacked focus due to inexperience so I'm hoping to lessen those moments this year,” she wrote.
The Spartans will host their home tournament Sept. 23-24.