Highline volleyball team aims to soar even higher

By Calvin Domingo - Staff Reporter



In a season where the Lady T-Birds finished as runners-up to champion Spokane, the team has its sights set on even bigger things for the upcoming season.

"You can expect that we want to make it back to NWAC's and hopefully to the championship," sophomore to-be, and outside hitter Tina Betham said. "We fell short [last season] and I think the desire for a comeback is what'll drive us to get to that final round."

However, for next year's team to reach their full poten tial, there are weaknesses that must be addressed.

"I think that our biggest weak- ness was our mindset and our ability to shake off our mistakes and move on to focus on the next play," sophomore to-be and out- side hitter Misiona Riberio said. "We got in our heads a lot and failed to shake it off quickly."

Riberio added that this offseason, Head Coach Chris Littleman has had the team participating in beach volley- ball.

"In beach [volleyball], it's
two on two, so when you up, and make a change right

make a mistake, it's only up to you and your partner to really do anything about it," Riberio said. "[This] forces us

away."
With every weakness, there

also comes strengths.
"Our strengths [last season]

to shake that mistake off, step

varied," Betham said. "We had a smart and strong offense and a quick defense. I hope this year we can up our defense be- cause we're losing our middles and libero, but I feel confident that our new recruits will bring a new dynamic that'll help the team get to where we want, just in a different way."

As for notable departures from last season's team, soph- omores Kate McGrath, Tae- cia Akana, Taylor Bell and All-Americans Adrienne Haggerty and Mahie Kaawa make up the full list, among others.

"We are going to miss their attitudes and the energy that they brought to our team," Riberio said. "They were al- ways looking for ways to help us improve and supported us through everything, on and off the court. We'll miss their pres- ence and wish them the best in their futures."

Fans can look forward to the upcoming season as the Lady 'Birds open the season late in August.

"We expect and hope to do good next year and even make it to the championships again, but to get there, we'll need to work as hard or even harder than we did last year," Riberio said.

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