The 2012 season was a great one for the Fleetwood High School girls' volleyball team. The Lady Tigers went 8-4 in the Berks League and made the playoffs. Then to top it off, they defeated Wilson in the quarterfinal round to get all the way to the semifinals before losing.
That's where it gets troubling. Despite the record, and despite defeating a AAA school in the quarterfinals, Fleetwood did not get a berth in the district playoffs. That's something they will use for motivation this year. They want to back to the league playoffs, then qualify for the district tournament.
It won't be an easy task. Last year the Tigers were a senior-laden team and they lost a lot of great talent to graudation. This year, they will have to do it with just one senior and one junior on the team. The rest is comprised of freshmen and sophomores.
"We're anxious and nervous,' said head coach Ron Humer. "We lost some key players from last year's team. This year we will have to find the right mix of players. We have a lot of good athletes, but with a young team, it's going to take a lot of work with those who will fill the holes we have in order to make it to the post season.'
The good news is that the one senior on the team is a good one. Vegas Youse is a All-County/All-Division middle hitter who will provide the senior leadership for the team.
"She's a strong all-around player who contributes greatly to both our offense and defense strategies, and is part of the core of our team,' said Humer.
The other core player on the team is sophomore setter Amanda Meck.
"Amanda is a very strong athletic setter who can take control of the court and move the ball around to throw off opponents' defenses,' said Humer. She will be the court leader and a big part of our effectiveness throughout the season.'
As far as predictions are concerned, that can get pretty difficult when you have a team this young. It's hard to predict how they will do. It will be difficult to equal last season's record. This may be a learning year for the Tigers as they look forward to the next two years when they will have a team full of experienced talent.
As for the 2013 season, Humer still has his sights set on a playoff spot. Young team or not, he wants the team to kept the ball rolling after such a great season last year.
"Last season was wrongly cut short because of flaws in the power rating system that kept up out of the district playoffs, even though we made it to the semifinals,' said Humer. "We hope to go further into the post seasonb and compete at the distrcts this year.'