It’s a rebuilding season for the Lynnwood volleyball team and its new coach Annalise Nash.
The 2001 Lynnwood High School graduate coached the junior varsity team last year and succeeded former coach Jean Kellogg, who retired last spring.
It was a good thing Nash was working with the JV team since the Royals return only five players from last year’s squad, which finished 2-4 in the Western Conference 4A South League and 6-10 overall. One of those players currently is injured. The majority of this year’s varsity squad is moving up from junior varsity.
While Lynnwood may be lacking in varsity experience, Nash is hoping hard work will help compensate.
“One thing I installed in them (junior varsity players) was give all you can all the time,” Nash said. “Go 100 percent all the time. Coming up, it’s a rebuilding year. But I think we’ll surprise people. The players work hard. They play hard. They’re a group that gets along really well. They’re a real cohesive unit. They play very well together.”
Senior setter Grace Douglas is someone the new players can emulate.
“She’s a smart setter,” Nash said. “She moves the ball and leads the defense well. She’s smart in where she puts the ball. The other players really respect her. She’s not so much a vocal leader. She’s the hardest working girl on the court. She’s runs the offense really well. She gets the job done.”
Nash also will look toward senior opposite hitter Angela Polevoy, junior outside hitter/middle Jenny Martinez and sophomore Katie Swan for leadership. Senior liberto/defensive specialist Abby Martinez is injured but is expected back.
Jenny Martinez definitely will be an offensive standout, Nash said. “She’s powerful and quick.”
Polevoy moves into a starting role after coming off the bench last season. Senior Alex Tyler is shaping up to be a solid libero/defensive specialist, Nash said.
Nash likes the enthusiasm she’s seen from the younger players.
“They’re really excited. They’re playing for the love of the game,” Nash said.
Lynnwood’s youth doesn’t mean Nash is writing off the postseason.
“We have the goal of getting to districts and getting to state,” she said. “We’ve set our goals high. With the quality of talent we have, it’s really an attainable goal. We’ll get as far as how hard we work.”
Relying on their teammates is another important point Nash stresses to her players.
“All the individual parts make up the whole,” she said. “We’re only as strong as our weakest link. They put forth 100 percent effort. They work hard. They play hard.
“They don’t back down. Even though we’re rebuilding with a new coach and not many returning players, as long as they work hard, we have those goals and we should be able to accomplish them.”