Pittsburg High School’s volleyball team is set to make waves in the upcoming SEK league season. Under the guidance of Head Coach Ashlen Riggs, who boasts four years of experience at the helm, the team is ready to show their prowess on the court. Last year’s challenges are fueling this year’s determination for victory.

In the 2022 season, the team took on the court with a lineup of mostly new faces. Despite their inexperience, the team persevered, though their record stood at 2 wins and 28 losses overall, with a league record of 2 wins and 6 losses. This year, things are looking up as the team builds on the lessons learned.

“We started 2022 with six girls making their varsity debut,” Coach Riggs explained. “Mistakes were made, but those mistakes are now the stepping stones to our improvement.” With five of those six players returning and an enthusiastic freshman joining the ranks, the team is poised for a stronger season ahead, armed with greater experience and tighter camaraderie.

One notable departure from the team is senior Kelsey Lee, a key player and starting setter from last year. Lee’s contributions will be remembered, but the team is ready to forge ahead.

The squad boasts an impressive roster of returning players. Rileigh Manuel, a senior in the role of Middle, demonstrated her multifaceted skills last season with 19 aces, a 92.6% success rate in serving, 93 kills, and a total of 33 blocks, including block assists. Junior Outside Hitter Erin O’Connell served up 38 aces and notched 119 kills, while Sophomore Right-Side Hitter/Outside Hitter Ivery Watts brought her A-game with 13 aces, a 96.5% serving success rate, 44 kills, and 4 blocks. Onna Jorge, another sophomore in the Middle position, secured 49 kills and 13 blocks.

Adding to the excitement, freshman Erika Maxwell is a newcomer to watch out for, showcasing her skills as an Outside Hitter.

Anticipation is running high for the 2023 season. With seven returning players and the fresh energy of Erika Maxwell, the team is well-prepared for a more triumphant journey. The off-season saw rigorous training and focused efforts, elevating the team’s skill level and boosting their confidence. Improved team chemistry and individual growth are setting the stage for a promising season ahead.

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