Low on numbers and experience, Gloversville facing rebuild

Gloversville volleyball coach Duane Hicks talks with his team during practice Wednesday at Gloversville High School. (Paul Wager/The Leader-Herald)

GLOVERSVILLE — After posting a perfect 15-0 record during the Fall II season in March and April, the Gloversville volleyball team is ready to get started once again.

Six of the seven players from last season’s roster are going, leaving coach Duane Hicks looking to rebuild this season.

“It’s going to be a process and we’ll be learning as we go,” he said. “I want to see us progress as the season goes on.”

Madelyn Avery, Macey Salvione, Hailee Thompson, Aireana Muhlberger, Alana Biasini and Emily Bradt all graduated after the Huskies’ unblemished season that also saw them go a perfect 12-0 in Foothills Council play.

“Going undefeated is what that group of seniors was looking for,” said Hicks, who is entering his 12th season. “They did what they wanted to do. They had a great season.”

Sophomore Zoie Tesi is lone returning player from last year’s team,

In addition to having several holes to fill, Hicks also has a total of just 12 players out for the varsity and junior varsity teams at present, leaving no room for injuries or illness.

“Our numbers are tight for sure,” Hicks said. “I knew they would be, but I wasn’t expecting it to be this tight.”

Gloversville took part in a summer league at Broadalbin-Perth, which helped gain some experience heading into the fall season.

“Playing in the summer league was a glimpse for them, but it’s not quite the same as what we’ll see in the Foothills,” Hicks said.

The Huskies will have to learn quickly as the season opener is rapidly approaching.

“Our junior varsity players from last year need to learn how to play at the varsity level this year,” said Hicks, who will be assisted by Ashley Funk. “It’s a faster, more powerful game and it’s going to be different for them.”

Gloversville’s first three matches of the season are on the road. The Huskies open with a Foothills Council contest at Schuylerville on Sept. 7 before traveling to Broadalbin-Perth on Sept. 9. Gloversville travels to Schoharie for a non-league contest Sept. 10 before facing Queensbury in its first home match on Sept. 16.

“I tell the team all the team that modified skills don’t win junior varsity games and junior varsity skills don’t win varsity games,” Hicks said. “We’ve got to step up our games to compete at the varsity level.”

By Paul Wager