Senior Annalyn Concepcion works on the basics as the team prepares for the upcoming season. Photo by Adam Wolfe

By Adam Wolfe

Practice has officially begun for the Maricopa High School volleyball team, and despite being a fairly young team, they have high hopes for their season.

Maricopa volleyball hasn’t qualified for the state playoffs in three decades. Talented players have come through, but no team has been able to piece together a playoff run since the 1980s. This year’s girls believe they can change that.

They will be somewhat inexperienced, but dropping from Arizona Interscholastic Association Division II to Division III combined with the tremendous amount of talent they have will provide them with a great opportunity to challenge for a playoff spot.

“We have a new coach and it’s a lot of change,” senior middle blocker Elizabeth Gallon said. “It’s still the same program, but it’s a new one at the same time. It’s going to be a lot of changes, I guess; new changes that will benefit us.”

Embracing change starts with the coach and trickles down to the players. The positive focus of Holley appears to be reaching the players. The athletes are viewing each challenge as a step to their goals instead of an obstacle.

“We do have a new coach, but I’m really excited because she is really determined and focused for us to do well this year,” senior libero Annalyn Concepcion said. “Personally I just really want to enjoy this year. It’s my last year here and I expect it to be really fun and for us to work really hard.”

The team will open their season on Aug. 26 with a scrimmage against Marana Mountain View at 5 p.m. in Tucson. Their first regular season game will be the following Monday at 5 p.m. at Horizon Honors High School, and their first home game is Sept. 1 at 6 p.m. against Kofa High School.

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