Their bags are packed, and on August 31 members of the Saugerties High School girls’ volleyball team will be on their way to Orlando, Florida for four days of intense volleyball, rides at the major amusement parks in the area, and if there aren’t any hurricanes some quality time catching rays at the pool.
The girls are headed to the ESPN sports camp to play two to three games of volleyball a day against other teams from across the country, explained head coach Paul Bianco. Now in his third year, Bianco, who formerly coached at Rondout Valley, said the trip to Florida was a great way for the girls to bond, and to raise the level of their game. “It’s a very competitive atmosphere and a great way for the girls to come together as a team,” Bianco said.
Over the last two years, team members have been raising money for the trip. They were so successful this year that each of the girls going will have to pay only $50 out-of-pocket for a trip that costs $1700.
“They will be playing two or three games each day,” Bianco said.
When the Saugerties team come back from Florida, Bianco said he expects it to be one of the more competitive teams in their Section 9 division. “I’m expecting some really good things from the girls this year,” Bianco said. “We have a good core of players coming back, including two seniors and a number of juniors that played well for us last year.”
Some of the players Bianco is expecting good things from this year include Zuzzana Mlynarczyk (a player from Poland), Darian Wood, Sammy Schatzel and Melissa Melville.
The team faces quality opponents from Wallkill, FDR, and cross-river rival Red Hook. “We’re going to be really good this year if the girls step up,” Bianco predicted. “And we’re going to surprise a lot of the other teams.”