Volleyball Preview: new coach Shari Iwatani to lead Tigers this season

By Noah Miyamae

Staff Writer

“Spectacular” has been a synonymous term for the girls’ volleyball team in the past two years. Currently, the squad is facing a new situation as they wonder how they will fare this year with a new coach and additions of various players. Although significant changes are impending, the returning varsity stars are more confident than ever for the upcoming season.

One major change in this years’ volleyball team will be within the managing staff. Shari Iwatani will be replacing Benjamin Diaz as the new head coach. The team welcomes Iwatani and feels that she will help them develop into better players with a fresh perspective to the game.

“We will learn new things and use [them] to help us improve and go further this season” senior Katie Sokolow said.

Another obstacle they will encounter is rebuilding after the loss of several key players. Over a third of the team will be fresh faces as Sofia Hathaway, Irene Siao, Rowan Leddy, and Shanovi Bass graduated last spring. In the coming weeks, the competition will be high to fill these four spots as the Tigers will have practices and eventual tryouts until July 31st.

The girls will make up for the loss of these players by forming deep relationships. Great chemistry boosts their communication and teamwork, which are dominant aspects in a volleyball victory. A spectator can notice that they are great teammates and friends just from watching a single game. Their amiable attitude toward one another is due to the frequent team bonding sessions along with their shared goal of success.

“During season we have team lunches, dinners, sleepovers and pool parties,” junior Molly Feldmeth said. “This trend does not change in the offseason.”

Several players have already began to strategize and speculate as to who will be their toughest opponents. However, this dynamic core will face any team head on with their ambitions set to no lower than a CIF title.

“Monrovia and La Cañada are normally difficult games,” senior Taleen Mitchell said, “But I’m sure it will be an exciting season.”

Around SPHS, there is a great awareness of the achievements associated with the girls’ volleyball team. However, this year will prove to be interesting as they will be tested by the transition of a rebuilding stage. With the season quickly approaching, it will be exciting to see how the girls will overcome these obstacles and reach new heights.