A coach's BEST nightmare
By Matt Ward
Jason Roemer, head coach of the Fredericksburg High School varsity volleyball team, has a big problem, but it’s one of those puzzles he’s hasn’t quite figure out yet.
There’s too much talent in the Battlin’ Billies lineup this season.
“What is everyone’s role going to be? That’s what I lose sleep over right now,” Roemer said. “Who’s going to play where? Can they accept their role? What’s the team chemistry? I’m tired of thinking about it. I’m ready to get in the gym and do it because we have a really good team this year.”
Four key players on last year’s playoff team graduated, but the Billies will be boosted by seven seniors on this year’s squad — all seeking their first district championship.
“I’m still hungry for a district championship. These kids are hungry for a district championship,” Roemer said. “We had a JV team that won the district championship and lost just one game in district, so there’s a lot of skill kids moving up.”
With the expectation of a large varsity roster, nearly half the spots are up for grabs behind the seven seniors.
“Usually, when we get to the end of school (in May) we have a good idea (of a potential varsity roster), but because of incoming freshmen that can play at a high level and a move-in sophomore, there’s some questions,” Roemer said. “All of our kids have had a very busy summer. We had 10 of them go to the Texas A&M team camp. They’ve all been camping, working out and they’re ready to go.”
Despite losing last year’s starter Monica Montgomery, Fredericksburg will returned experienced setter Kendyl Stevens, who saw significant playing time early in 2013 and started while Montgomery recovered from a concussion during non-district play.
“We’re going to be balanced this year (offensively),” Roemer said. “We have a lot of dynamic hitters; we’re going to be really strong at the middle blocker position, so there are certain sets that we’re going to have to set consistently.”
Joining Stevens in contention for setter time on the court is a pair of incoming juniors who help make up a formidable trio of options for the FHS head coach.
“Katherine McManigle and Chase Whiting both set on the JV last year and they set differently than Kendyl,” Roemer said. “It’s height different; it’s the tempo of the ball coming out of the hands. It’s like two different quarterbacks running the offense in football.”
Junior Adrianna Hartmann, last year’s Newcomer of the Year in District 27-3A, returns to lead the Fredericksburg front row at the middle blocker position, though the Billies will sorely miss all-state middle blocker Allie Doucet, who graduated after last season.
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