The Polytech Panthers used a massive regular-season win to propel them to a southern division championship as well as volleyball’s “Team of the Year” this season.
Polytech finished the season with two losses – to Caesar Rodney in the conference title game and Padua in the first round of the state tournament – but still earned an impressive 11-4 record for the year.
For second-year Head Coach Trevor Bradshaw’s team, the season’s defining moment came during the Panthers regular-season victory against Caesar Rodney, who the seniors had never beaten during their four years at Polytech.
“To beat a team like that was a great thing for the girls,” Bradshaw said. “We wanted to make other teams play our style of volleyball. They’re always our strongest competition.”
Both Bradshaw and his players agreed the team’s biggest improvement during the season was their on-court communication.
“We improved a lot on the court,” said junior Kristin Wissler. “We need to work on the mental and defensive parts for next season.”
While Polytech loses four strong seniors from last season’s team in Jaynie Deputy, Chelsea Fry, Shannon Wissler and Jenna Racz, Bradshaw still expects big things from his squad next season.
“We’re going to need big years out of our JV players coming up if we’re going to be successful,” said Bradshaw, who believes Jen Briody and Colleen O’Brien will step in to larger roles next season.
As always, the Panthers goals are the same for next season: division and conference championships come first, but the first state tournament win in school history is what coaches and players all are focused on.
“We really hope to improve again next season,” Wissler said. “We can play better in the postseason.”