BANDON - During the first week of practice, Bandon volleyball coach Mariah Vierck was excited to see what her team could do.
When it finally came to playing against other squads, Vierck came away pleased.
“We are going to be a solid all-around team,” she said after watching the Tigers easily win their set against Coquille and also handle Class 3A Brookings-Harbor at the season-opening Marshfield jamboree. Bandon’s loss to host Marshfield was because the Tigers “were asleep,” Vierck said.
She was particularly happy with the effort against Coquille because Bandon didn’t run its offense efficiently.
Veteran Kennedy Turner; newcomer Baylee George, a transfer from Roseburg; Traylyn Arana, who arrived last school year; Naomi Martin; and Ashley Strain all had some nice hits during the day.
Vierck has been pleased with Bella Erenfeld for taking on setter duties, and with senior Kylie Lakey for showing leadership and taking the libero spot.
Sophomores Angie Morones, Carlee Freitag and Madisan McCabe also are seeing time with varsity.
“I like my team,” Vierck said. “They are a good group of athletes. They come prepared every day. They give me their efforts.
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“I think they are working toward a solid vision.”
The team also is a tight group.
“This is the most cohesive team I’ve had in a few years,” Vierck said.
The big challenge for the Tigers will be confidence as they seek a spot in the playoffs this fall.
“They need to feel like they are going to win,” she said.
Bandon played a pair of regular matches the day after the jamboree, losing to Class 4A Siuslaw and Class 3A Douglas as the team struggled with its passing, but Vierck remains confident in her club.
“We need to remember to play focused, calm volleyball,” she said. “We have some room to grow, but the potential is there.”
Bandon is at Glide on Thursday to face both the host Wildcats and Monroe and then opens league play next Tuesday at Gold Beach. Bandon hosts both Pacific and Union of Eastern Oregon next Friday before the Cranberry Bowl.