KAYSVILLE – The Davis Darts volleyball team experienced a less-than-stellar season in 2013.
But coach Lori Salvo doesn’t believe that.
She knows that despite what the overall record was, and the fact that they barely made it to the second day of the state volleyball tournament, the team battled hard against some of the upper echelon teams that has her, and the Lady Darts, excited to get back out on the volleyball court.
“You look at who we played at the state tournament and how hard we played them and people would know that we played hard,” Salvo said. “I mean we played the state champion right off the bat and lost and in the second day we played Lone Peak and took them to the fifth set before dropping that match too, so these players know how to grind out matches and play tough.”
The state tournament experience, combined with 20 players returning as juniors or seniors, is one of the main reasons Davis could be right back at the top of the 5A class as the season moves forward.
“We’re going to have a lot of depth because we didn’t lose that many seniors from that state squad,” Salvo said. “They’re all coming back from that state experience and they’re looking to be able to compete against those same teams this year.”
Among the returning seniors that saw significant playing time last year are Abbey Darling and Kenzi Nichol. Both are expected to see the floor this year as an outside hitter and setter, respectively.
Right side hitter Ashton Marley will also see time at that position. Eliza Jackson and Alexis Matthews will serve as other key seniors that will contribute in different ways on the floor.
A pair of juniors Salvo is expecting a lot from are Mary Kate Butters and Abbey Roacha. Both are competing for playing time and could be in the starting lineup more often.
Jenn Sappenfield, a 6-foot, 2-inch junior, will play middle blocker.
Giovanna Ross is the last name Salvo mentioned, but also said there are 13 total juniors that will add to the depth of the Darts this year.
As far as expectations are concerned, Salvo said she always wants her teams to make the state tournament and win as much as possible.
“I think you’re selling your team short if you don’t expect that from them every year,” she said. “But it’s not something we haven’t done before and I think it’s definitely achievable this year. Our core group of players is going to be tough to compete against and with all the state experience a lot of them have, we will be tough to beat.”
Davis finished 2013 with an 8-18 overall record and was 5-7 in region play. It did not place in the top eight at the state tournament.
Lady Darts 2014 schedule
8-26 @ Bingham
8-29, 30 @ Northridge Tournament
9-5, 6 @ Lone Peak/Lehi Tournament
9-9 @ Viewmont
9-18 @ Weber
9-25 @ Syracuse
10-9 @ Northridge
10-23 @ Layton
10-30 @ Fremont