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Eagles ready for season

The Goshen Eagles volleyball has experienced plenty of success over the course of the last handful seasons, but the 2019 team will be in uncharted territory as they field a team that is largely inexperienced.

The Eagles have advanced to the state tournament in each of the last five seasons. This season, they have seven seniors, but the majority of them lack experience.

“We are going to try to compete at the same level that we have been competing at,” said head coach Amy Warrick. “It’s not a young team, but it’s made up of girls who are playing for the first time. Experience level is going to be somewhat low for us.”

The Eagles lost key players in key positions a season ago including Hannah Calhoun and Kate Warrick. Olivia Kyzar will be looked at to fill a void at the setter position and they will be starting a ninth grader at the libero position.

“We are starting over,” Warrick said. “Olivia was one of our setters last year, but she was not playing as our main setter.”

For the first time in many years, Warrick will not have the opportunity to coach her daughter after Kate graduated last year. It’s a bitter-sweet time for Warrick, but it’s something she is looking forward to.

“I am always thrilled when I don’t have a daughter playing,” Warrick said. “It’s great to coach them, but it kind of changes your dynamic. I was always harder on mine (child) than anyone else.”

Resetting overall has been challenge for Warrick early in camp. She grew relationships with the previous years’ players, something she is trying to establish with this year’s bunch.

“I love these girls and they have been with me for a while,” Warrick said. “It’s just they have taken on a bigger role. We have had some tears and it’s a lot of growing. We try to have fun, but they have had to see a more serious side of me than they wanted to see.”

Despite the lack of experience, the eagles players are aware of the legacy of the program, set by the players of the past.

“We try our best to explain it to them,” Warrick said. “I think they understand. They have already been in some hard situations. We have gone to Wallace-Hanceville for eight years and that’s not an easy camp. They got a big dose of it. We have had some hard practices and they are about to understand. We have our goals high.”

Serving, at times, was a struggle for the Eagles last year. Heading into this season, Warrick believes it to be an area of strength.

“We serve pretty well,” Warrick said. “I said that last year at this time and then we started off really weak with our serving. When we are offense we seemed to do better than we are when we receive the serve.”

The Eagles will travel to play in a tournament in Kinston this weekend and later will play tournaments in Auburn at Enterprise and Charles Henderson before hosting one.

“We have five really big tournaments,” Warrick said. “We try to play as big of tournaments as we can without playing huge teams. We try to put them against good competition and to get us ready.”

The Eagles will have their first match on Thursday night when they host Kinston.”