After a 9-24 record last season, with a young roster with only three seniors, Blue Jay head volleyball coach Basil Nevill says this is the most talented team he has coached in his 10-year tenure at Junction City.
“We have had some phenomenal athletes throughout my years here,” Nevill said. “But I think we have more talent here (on this team) than I have ever seen at Junction City across the board.”
“I am really excited about the incomers. The freshman. The new move-ins. All these girls are really competing, and they have played a lot of volleyball. I am really excited about what we are going to do (this year).”
Senior Jada Davis is ready to be a leader on the team as one of the only two returning varsity players on a very talented, but young team.
“I am excited to get some experience with this new team,” Davis said. “Just ready to figure each other out and have a good season.”
Ava Deguzman, the other returning varsity player from last season, says Davis provides needed leadership as one of the three seniors.
“Jada (Davis) is a pretty good leader,” Deguzman said. “She is confident of the court. She shows the underclassman what they need to be looking up to.”
Deguzman feels very confident heading into the season, despite the youth of this team.
“All the girls are stepping up,” Deguzman said. “Even freshmen are stepping up big time.”
With the pandemic impacting the season last year, the Blue Jays have not played a regular season match since October.
That has this team itching to begin its season.
On a scale of 1-10, Nevill is beyond a 10 in ready to be competing again in a regular season game.
“It has been a long time coming,” Nevill said. “We have been in the gym working all summer long. We have had great attendance on our things. I am just excited to get back to the gym.”
Along with the most overall talented team Nevill has had at Junction City, he said it was a thorough process to select the 31 members for this team this season.
“When we had tryouts, we had over 50,” Nevill said. “We paired it down to 31. It was a tough call. It has been one of the most competitive groups all the way through. We mixed squads (at practice) quite a bit, and the competition level does not drop off. I am trying to press on them just exactly how much talent we do have. They come out and fight against each other every day to make us better.”