Tipp volleyball is coming off an 18-7 season and lost three seniors off their sectional runner-up team. Coach Howard Garcia knows one thing…the kids who are back this season have not forgotten the feeling of outplaying the number-one seed before losing in the finals.

He said the drive is as strong as ever.

“The kids haven’t forgotten how it ended, and it is motivating them heading into this season,” he said, stating the loss of Taylor Prall, Olivia Raypole and Emily Shuk will be big, but the players back will be ready to go in late August.

“All spring and summer, we have done a lot of individual training and the OHSAA allows us to have four high school or middle school kids all together at once. We went throughout the spring and summer, starting in February until the end of June. Now we are doing 10 days of practices.”

Garcia knows this year will be a senior-laded team with solid kids returning, and has been impressed with the dedication from the kids so far this summer.

“Just judging by the individual workouts, those not playing club volleyball have made arrangements to show up to open gym,” the Tipp coach said. “We will have heavy on seniors this year, and they have been around program for some time, and they know the objectives and goals, it’s nothing new to them. They have experiences success and you can see they want to continue experiencing that”.

For the remainder of this month, Garcia will use his 10 allowed coaching days to prepare his team for the start of practice. He hopes to get a lot accomplished before the first day of practice on August 1.

“We will take our 10 days and provide baseline skills. Some things are new, not only skills, but we try to focus on the disciple aspect of game.”

“It’s the speed of drills and quality of contacts that are all very important for team unity. It allows kids to know each other, and we get to know them too. They have good and bad things and if we try to recognize the strengths and weaknesses and work on them, we have a good shot to do well.”

Garcia mentioned that he returns three key seniors from last year, all who are looking to end their careers as champions.

“Cali Stewart has been here 4 years (missed sophomore year ACL), and along with Natalie Seeman (outside attacker and starter), they understand what it is to be successful,” Garcia said. “Audrey Trick (libero/DS) has also been here for 3 years on varsity, and she is one that is what the program is all about. She is courageous and respectful and doesn’t like to lose. All three seniors were major components last year. We have several seniors trying out this year.”

Garcia also mentioned other key returning players from last year, including sophomore Abby Hughes, juniors Brooke Aselage and Izzy Crow (who led the GWOC in assists last year) and senior Anna Gilliam.

“Our big league rival is Troy, they are very deep and well coached,” he said. “Last year after we had a chance to defeat them and knows what it takes to defeat them. We had good success against the other teams. We have also tried to get competition outside of the conference to bolster us for a tourney run.”