Fall Sports Preview: Oak Harbor volleyball

"There are some pretty good reasons for Oak Harbor's volleyball team to be optimistic about the upcoming season.For one thing, new coach Kerri Molitor knows how to win.Back in the early '80s, Molitor, known then as Kerri Short, helped lead the Wildcat volleyball team to three undefeated seasons. She then played college volleyball, and then coached volleyball at Skagit Valley College for 10 years, where her teams never finished lower than third in the league standings.Then there's attitude.Molitor says her girls have already set high goals for the 2000 season and have come to practice ready to play. Molitor said she's heard words like playoffs sprinkled in conversations among the players.Motivation doesn't seem to be a problem for the Wildcats either, the coach said. Volleyball, she explained, is by nature an emotional game requiring more than just skill or power. It requires desire, as well, and rewards those who meld all three attributes. There are highs and lows, she said. But the appeal is the competition and the camaraderie - being part of a team, striving for a goal together.Apparently that appeal is widespread in Oak Harbor. More than 75 girls turned out for the sport this year.They include seniors like captain Shannon Carroll, at outside hitter. Carroll will have help in the leadership role, Molitor said.Seniors Stephanie Stratton, Charissa Brecht, Kim Gabler and Jennifer Berg will all add their talents and leadership skill to the team. So will will setter Valarie Hartman, the only junior on the varsity team.Molitor also sees a big role ahead for Constance Burnette, a powerful blocker and hitter.Her front row play is impressive, Molitor said.Molitor's expectations for the 2000 season, which begins at home this Tuesday against Everett, mirror those of her players.They want to win, Molitor said. And so do I. Bottom line, we want to win.And winning is something Molitor knows about. "

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