The Sequoia girls’ volleyball team has not seen the postseason in five years, but the return of all but two players this season has it seeing a bright future.
“We know we have something to build with,” Sequoia coach Jane Slater said.
Sequoia won its first four league matches before letting a 2-0 lead slip away against South City last week and dropping its first contest.
“[It] was a wake-up call for us. We need to focus on our game right now,” Slater said. “Consistency has been a big problem.”
Slater says the team’s mental toughness has been a big part to this inconsistency.
“We’re doing drills that push mentally as well as physically,” Slater said. “The offense is working hard to translate it to games.”
“We had a good practice on Wednesday,” Slater said.
Sequoia, 5-1 in league entering Tuesday’s match, finished third in the PAL Ocean last season and has not reached the Central Coast Section playoffs since 2006.
“I think we can compete with anybody in league if we’re at our strongest, playing up to our abilities,” Slater said.
Two returners have stepped up to take the lead of the team.
Senior Nicole Kielty and junior Mikayla Wilkes have kept a positive attitude and have led by example, Slater said.
Kielty stepped in to take over at setter and has been splitting time with freshman Camille Louie.
Senior libero Hailey Carroll has been critical for the Cherokees on defense and in the passing game.
“They are both not experienced at this level of play,” Slater said. “They’ve both stepped up and gotten better.”
Sequoia added four underclassmen to the team and Slater said they have come together well in a short time.
Many of the players have also played on club teams in the offseason, with some even playing on the same team.
“They’ve had to make some adjustments, but the team has played really well together,” Slater said.
The Cherokees played in three preseason tournaments against nine opponents with a winning record.
Sequoia fell to Valley Christian (West Catholic Athletic League), Menlo (PAL Bay) and Rodriguez (Fairfield), but picked up wins against Santa Teresa and Clayton Valley.
Half Moon Bay and Terra Nova shared the PAL Ocean title last season and the Tigers look to be near the top again.
Entering Tuesday, Terra Nova was off to a 6-0 start in league.