Across the city, freshman volleyball players are taking their first stabs as part of their school's top team.
For some of them, making the move carries with it a few apprehensions, for others it was something they had waited for.
"I wasn't too worried about ninth-grade volleyball," Southwest Junior High freshman Kendyll Severa said. "But we do have a lot of cuts so a lot of the players know they have to get better."
During the first days of practice things don't seem any different than a year ago. The eighth-and ninth-graders go through the same conditioning regimens throughout practice. But the new freshmen will have to deal with a few things not covered in practice.
"One of the main things is the height of the girls," Severa said. "I'm a left-side hitter, and it's going to be a challenge to keep my game going against all the taller players."
The coaches see their incoming freshmen volleyball players deal with a new set of circumstances as well.
"The main difference is that they are playing a tougher schedule," Southwest Junior High head coach Patty Coffey said. "They know that they are stepping it up a notch. They have to adjust to playing a tougher schedule, with more games and playing later into the evening."
Junior high freshman volleyball gets under way Aug. 29 as West and Central travel to Gardner.