Members of the Mount Desert Island High School varsity volleyball team. The girls are scheduled to play Sumner, away, at 5:30 p.m., on Sept. 6, in the first game of the regular season. They will host Narraguagus at home on Sept. 8 at 5:30 p.m. ISLANDER PHOTO BY LIZ GRAVES

Volleyball returnees bring new strength

BAR HARBOR — There are 14 girls and 28 arms, but they all must work together on one Mount Desert Island High School varsity volleyball team.

Head Coach Corey Papadopoli said that getting the players to coalesce as a unit has been the focus of preseason practices.

“I think we are at a better starting point now than in years past,” he said.

“We have a good group, and if they work hard, they can be very successful.”

The team has nearly an even amount of returning and new varsity players.

Practices and scrimmages have been used to try out different combinations of girls in different positions to see which one works the best.

“Volleyball is a team sport. All the returning players have improved, and the new players over the course of [last week] have improved,” said the coach. “Being able to work together as a team, all 14 of them, that’s been the biggest thing for us.”

Last postseason, the Trojan girls won the Class A preliminary match against Cheverus High School, but fell to Greely High School in the quarterfinals.

“We played as well as we could, but [Greely was] just a little better,” said Papadopoli.

But 2016 is a new year, and Papadopoli said new players are adding strengths to the team.

“What we have seen offensively so far is better than last year,” he said.

There is still work to be done ahead of the girls’ first regular season match.

“Right now, some of our focus is on communication, making sure we are always communicating on every ball, on every play,” he said.

The girls are also working on transitions and keeping rallies going. “That is pretty critical to winning,” said Papadopoli.

Players this year include Emma Watras, Hannah Chamberlain, Mandy Candage, Julia Watras, Grace Higgins, Valerie Del Cid, Alaina Duley, Maddy Shields, Sara Todd, Megan Moore, Alexis Clarito, Emma Forthofer, Mackenzie Hanna and Mariah Hamor.

The Trojans play at Sumner Memorial High School on Sept. 6 in the first game of the regular season. They will host Narraguagus Junior/Senior High School at home on Sept. 8.

Taylor Bigler Mace

Taylor Bigler Mace

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Taylor covers sports and maritimes for the Islander. As a native of Texas, she is an unapologetic Dallas Cowboys fan. [email protected]
Taylor Bigler Mace

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