Silverado spikers eager to make postseason splash

Silverado's girls volleyball team knows a thing or two about dealing with transitions.

For a team that returned only two starters, shuffling through three coaches in three seasons is like playing roulette with a team's chemistry.

"It affects the team a lot," junior setter Morgan Little, a two-year starter, said. "It's a lot to get used to, changing coaches. But when you love the game, you just get used to it, and you just want to play as hard as you can and try your best to work with what you have."

Despite the upheaval, first-year coach Kahealani Roston is confident the odds are in the Skyhawks' favor to make a splash in the Division I Sunrise Region tournament, which begins today when Silverado (10-6) squares off against Basic (14-15) at 3:40 p.m at Green Valley.

"I am very, very pleased with how we've been playing," said Roston, who coached at Eldorado last season. "Being that this is my first year at Silverado, it's a very new environment, new players, new everything."

Roston is quick to admit that the process has been challenging, but said she is pleased with the desire and determination her team has shown in finishing second in the Northeast League behind perennial power Green Valley.

"Every coaching style is different," Roston said. "I don't know how it was those other years. What I do know is that Silverado has always had a very good program. For me, that was my challenge for myself. They've had the reputation, so I have to live up to that expectation as a coach."

That endearing philosophy has trickled down to the players, sparking a staunch attitude of confidence.

"We've always worked really hard as a team, and Coach has always pushed us, so that's a positive," said senior Kayla Agae, the only remaining member of Silverado's 2009 state championship team. "It's never really a surprise. We just keep working hard, and results show up."

Along with the leadership of Agae and Little, Roston said she relies on everyone to contribute when things get tough.

"Especially Kayla being our senior, she plays a major role," Roston said. "She is able to shake things off quickly and the girls see how easy it is for her to shake things off. If she can do it, they can."

Agae, who recently committed to Elon, said the Skyhawks aren't resting on the laurels of their past accomplishments.

"I definitely feel a side of pressure coming back from a strong team in 2009," Agae said. "You go from there, all the way to your senior year. What we do is expected; it's never going to go away."

Roston stressed that the team's strength is built on constructive criticism, while noting that improvements in execution on hits and court surveillance are key to Silverado's postseason success.

"There's no limits to what we can run," Rolston said. "We're ready for anything, whether it be key players from the outside, key players from the middle. What causes us to be a force to be reckoned with is that we're not afraid to step out of the regular box - meaning the basics."

Both the Sunset and Sunrise championship matches are slated for Friday night at Green Valley.