By ALEX SPONSELLER The Toll Gate girls volleyball team got off to a big start to begin its season when it traveled to Bay View Academy last week, coming back from two games down to complete the 3-2 comeback victory. The Lady Titans have many new faces
By ALEX SPONSELLER The Toll Gate girls volleyball team got off to a big start to begin its season when it traveled to Bay View Academy last week, coming back from two games down to complete the 3-2 comeback victory.
The Lady Titans have many new faces this season with Jill Walsh and Cailin Tainsh being the only returners from last year’s starting varsity group. Despite the slow start, the Titans were able to work past the nerves and play their best volleyball down the stretch to upset the host Bengals.
“It was a great confidence builder, especially since we are such a young team with only two returning varsity players. It was really exciting for them to come together, work hard and pull out the win. They started to believe in each other and got into a flow. I told them not to push, let the game come to you. Once they began to relax, they began to click,” said new Toll Gate coach Lisa Sweet, who is also the former Warwick Vets boys coach. “First game jitters, the open gym, new players, two new setters. Last year they ran a 6-1, this year we’re running a 5-2, it was just those jitters and inexperience.”
Prior to this season, Sweet spent time coaching the Toll Gate junior varsity program and had worked with many of the younger kids stepping up this season. That familiarity has helped the coaching transition in the early going as well as the leadership from Walsh and Tainsh.
“(The young girls) know my system, they know my style of coaching and practicing. It was better having them returning and knowing the system. Jill Walsh and Cailin Tainsh have played a lot of volleyball and have also adjusted really well and have been helping out the other girls,” said Sweet.
Although the season will look different in terms of schedule and layout due to the ongoing pandemic, the Titans are happy to be back out there and are looking to make a run in the division.
“We’re all just so excited. We’re just so glad to be able to have this season regardless of how short it is,” Sweet said. “When the season was cancelled it was a downer, so we’re really excited to be back out there and to be able to play together.”
The Lady Titans improved to 1-0 on the season and hosted Mt. Hope in its home opener on Wednesday. The results were not available at press time.