Varsity Trojans looking up
The Portage Collegiate Institute Trojans varsity volleyball team has high hopes.
The Trojans are returning much of last year's 4-6 squad, and head coach Jason Green said he likes what he sees in this year's crop of players.
"I'm pretty excited about this year because of so many returning players," said Green. "(We have) one or two rookies, but pretty much everyone here has got some varsity experience.
"We'll be solid."
Green said the players look like they'd improved even before laying down the first spike in practice.
"What was really impressive first is that we had so little signs of rust," said Green. "We actually had an incredible first week in terms of practicing. They certainly did look, at times, in midseason form.
"It's been a good start. Skills are pretty crisp."
Green said the skill levels on players on the Trojans is fairly even, so even if one player is struggling or is getting shut down, another can step up and fulfill the role.
"We're pretty balanced. We've got guys that have been putting points away last year," said Green. "Everybody seems like they got a little bit better. I don't know if I would highlight one particular player as making a tremendous leap, but everyone has kept their skills sharp.
"What happens with us is our success is balance. If we've only got one guy, it's easy to key on, but we've got lots of weapons."
Wednesday's season-opening opponent, the Westwood Warriors, finished just a game back of PCI at 3-7, so the game is one Green would like to have in his back pocket early on in the campaign.
"Our two schools have been pretty evenly matched," said Green. "Whoever plays the way they're capable of is certainly capable of winning.
"We're not counting this as a victory. I'm more than hopeful. I did tell the boys it was an expectation that we play good ball to start the season. I'll call it a winnable game."
The Trojans will then head to Winnipeg to play the St. James Jimmies on Thursday before leaving the province to play in the Manitoba-Ontario Challenge in Kenora over the weekend.
"That'll be good bonding and good gel time," said Green. "We basically hit the ground running.
"It's a few practices and then a lot of games."
For more, please see Wednesday's edition of the Portage Daily Graphic.