When the Seabury Academy volleyball team plays its first-ever regional today at Williamsburg, it'll be without senior middle blocker Anne Stella.
She's a crucial part of the Seahawks' team, but coach Tracy Kitson doesn't want Stella's absence to be a crutch for her team. They've got enough to focus on.
"She's definitely important to our team," Kitson said. "But I didn't want the girls to think we couldn't do it without her."
They've already played a couple of matches without Stella. Sophomore Laura Frizell moved from outside hitter to middle, while freshman Laura Hoffman started at outside.
So the spot has been filled. Now it's just a matter of jelling against Waverly High.
The Bulldogs won the Lyon County League Tournament last weekend, so Kitson knows they'll be tough. If the Seahawks, 7-15, can improve be more aggressive at the net, she thinks they'll have a chance.
"We have to make sure we get attacks on every possession," she said. "That's been a problem for us all season."
Overcoming their lack of aggressiveness may be tough at the regional.
The added pressure can be a lot for students to handle, especially in their first-ever regional.
"Plus, we don't have any tradition established," Kitson said. "All they're used to is that Christian League tournament at the end of the year. This will be new."