Copley girls volleyball team looking to get healthy for end-of-season run
COPLEY — Through Oct. 5, the Copley High School girls volleyball team’s overall record was 6-14. First-year head coach Chuck Musselman said injuries have been a major factor for the team this year and getting healthy would provide a big boost as the season winds down.
“I think we realistically have a shot at facing Wadsworth in the district finals if we can get everyone healthy by then,” he said. “But it has been a rough road. With eight of our players making regular trips to see the trainer, and five of them missing large chunks of the season because of injuries, it’s hard to be consistent. We still have three starters working their way back from injuries and two starters out for the remainder of the season.”
Aside from getting healthy, the coach said, a big key for the Copley girls volleyball program is the development of a “winning attitude.”
“The girls are too used to losing, and it has shown at the end of games this year,” he stated. “We have lost 19 games by a total of 45 points, and if we had been able to finish in those games, we would have eight more wins this season so far.”
One of the team’s key strengths this year, Musselman said, is balance.
“We are a pretty balanced team,” he said. “There isn’t one area that we really excel in, but we aren’t deficient in any areas either.”
In addition, Copley has experience, as there are seven seniors on the squad.
“Mekenzie Prentiss is our libero and anchors our passing. Summer Emich is our setter and is a team captain. Taylor Beard is an outside hitter for us. Courtney Aalseth is our utility kid. She has played pretty much everywhere this year. Alex Stanton is our middle hitter. Monica Leach plays back row for us. And Briana White plays front row for us,” Musselman said. “With seven seniors, we have a core group of girls that have seen time at the varsity level. But we also have two freshmen and two sophomores that see significant court time as well, so we have a nice mix.”
Musselman said the team has received key contributions from the two sophomores this season.
“Bella Ison is our sophomore middle hitter and is a team captain and has done a nice job for us while fighting injuries all season,” he said. “Brooke Emich is a sophomore setter and right-side hitter who has had to step in because of injuries.”
According to the coach, two freshmen were able to contribute during their first seasons on the team.
“Freshman Katie Briant started the year as our left-side hitter, but injured her ankle early and is just now getting back on the court,” he said. “Middle hitter Myriah Hoffman is another freshman that has had to step up and contribute after others went down with injuries.”
This is Musselman’s first year at Copley after spending the last 12 years at Northwest High School. Antoine Pastor is the junior varsity coach and Janet Coon coaches the freshman team.
Musselman said his goal as the team’s coach is to “develop more consistency through the program and build it starting with the middle school program.”
“We will have our own Junior Olympic program (Zero Gravity) here at Copley now as well, which will give us a chance to catch up with some of the other programs in our league,” he said.
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