With the largest roster (in number and height) in seven seasons at Wootton, the Patriots approach the season less experienced than recent years, but with depth in athletic ability and a desire to learn the volleyball skills necessary to compete through a tough MCPS schedule. The challenge will be to translate athletic ability to a volleyball-playing unit with a balanced offense, defensive strength, and a relentless transition game that often determine success on the court.
Wootton returns seven players from the 2013 squad, including two starters.
Cary takes over primary setting duties after contributing as a utility and defensive player the past three years. The Patriots will depend on his experience to balance the offensive attack and to steady the transition game. Cary's experience in the competitive world of nine-man volleyball translates nicely into a high awareness of game strategy and running an offense.
Paul returns as one of the most experienced volleyball players in Montgomery County history. Last year's Gazette Player of the Year, Paul is poised to cap his high school career as a leader and mentor to to the next generation of Wootton players. Called into duty to help his teammates step up the level of play necessary to compete with top teams, Paul takes his role seriously but with a humorous flair for the game.
David joins the team for the first time as a senior player after serving the Wootton volleyball program in other roles for the past three years. His commitment to improving and his leadership by example landed him a spot on the roster, and he is showing qualities that contribute toward building a cohesive team. David brings his joy to the game and will be a crowd favorite when he is on the court.
Ben has been one of the county's top liberos the past two years. Now, as a fourth year senior, he adds his aggressive attacking style to become a six rotation player for the Patriots. Ben will add consistency to the passing game and his quickness and ability to read opposing attacks makes him an exciting player for fans to watch.
Wootton swimmer Chung has stepped out of the water and onto the volleyball court where he is finding his footing in a big way. He is a quick learner and is already making an impact. Expect Jeremy's considerable athletic ability to shine on the court as a utility player.
Ethan enters his second year on the roster with considerably greater skills than last year. The tallest member of the team, Ethan's passing and setting abilities make him a six rotation player who has the potential to impact the outcome of every match.
Adam joins the team for a second year after starring for Wootton's state championship hockey team. Adam's knack for controlling a puck on ice with a stick seem to have transferred to his ability to be in the right place at the right time on the volleyball court. Adam will be a steadying influence on the court with his strong passing ability.
Andrew joins the boys team after developing his volleyball skills on last year's coed team. His strong net skills and passing ability put him into a position to compete for an outside hitter position. The more time Andrew earns on the court, the more points Wootton will earn in a match. There will be a high correlation between Andrew's and Wootton's success. The evidence in practice affirms his readiness to make that happen.
Mark returns for a third year with strong all-around skills. His ability to come off the bench last year in critical moments has made him a key clutch player. Mark wants the ball when the game is on the line, and the Patriots will look to that this season. Expect him to have more opportunities to score points in one of the outside hitter positions this year.
Robbie is an aggressive net player who has the leaping ability to play bigger than his 6'3" height. As he continues to develop his technique, he has the potential to become a dominating net player. His work ethic in practice is paying off in significant ways for the Patriots. If you get an opportunity to see Robbie wind up for an attack, remember to breath.
Jimmy joins the team for the first time as a sophomore having improved significantly from his freshman year tryout. His all-around skills make him a natural utility player who adds value to the team as an outside hitter, passer, secondary setter and defensive specialist.
Henry returns to the team for a second year having gained valuable experience training daily with and against an experienced 2013 Wootton team. As he continues to gain strength and skill, his work ethic and learning ability will place him in line to be an outstanding player.
Justin spent his freshman season assimilating into Wootton's system and serving primarily as a defensive specialist. He is being called into action as a setter during training sessions as he develops his growing set of volleyball skills.
As a first time member of the team, Nathan is showing his potential as a passer and outside hitter and defensive specialist. He will apply his considerable athletic ability as he learns the Wootton system and gains competition experience.
If the athletic abilities of Victor de Avila and Omar Nunez are any indication of their future success, then their and Wootton's volleyball future is bright. If their ability to develop their volleyball skills as quickly as they have in preseason practices is any indication, then that future will happen much sooner than later. If they continue to train harder and smarter, Victor and Omar are going to be contributing on game day this season.