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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Brighton volleyball confident it can bounce back for big season

Sep 07, 2018 01:22PM ● By Jana Klopsch

By Josh McFadden | [email protected] 

Some teams might not have a lot of optimism following a 6-11 season, but the Brighton volleyball squad is optimistic about its chances for the 2018 campaign.                 

Brighton finished fifth out of six teams in Region 7 standings a year ago, missing out on the state tournament. However, with a blend of returning talent and promising newcomers, Head Coach Adam Fernandez has set the bar high this season.                 

“We've got a nice even mix of veteran varsity leaders and talented incoming freshmen,” Fernandez said. “I expect them to gel as a group and I expect us to compete for a region championship and make some noise at state.”                 

Of course, this doesn’t mean the Bengals won’t have some challenges to begin the season. Fernandez has to find a way to replace some departed seniors from last season. He plans on giving time to some freshman and believes they can perform well if they can overcome the first-year jitters.                 

“We have a lot of varsity holes that will be filled by ninth-graders,” he said. “They need to not get spooked and perform in matches.”                 

Senior Cate Monson will lead the team on the court with her talent and leadership. Juniors Adi Terry and Taeya Pilgrim will also fill key roles. Fernandez will also rely on youngsters Olivia Ponte, a sophomore, and freshmen Graysen Trupp, Savannah Cottam and Fefe Rees.                 

It’s rare at Brighton to see such a stacked class of ninth-graders. Fernandez said his freshmen will be a big part of the team’s success.                 

“This is the deepest ninth-grade class I have ever seen in my 12 years at BHS,” he said. “There’s lots of talent. They just need to perform under the bright varsity lights.”                 

Not only does Fernandez think his team has what it takes to contend for a region title and compete at state, but he also enjoys working with the girls. He appreciates their attitudes and work ethic.                 

“I just love my job and love this sport,” he said. “I am excited to see what we can get done. They are great girls and have great personalities. They are a ton of fun to be around.”                 

Brighton began the season Aug. 16 at Copper Hills and hosted Box Elder Aug. 21. The Bengals travel to Riverton Tuesday, Aug. 28. On Sept. 13, Brighton plays its first Region 7 game when it travels to Alta.                  

The Bengals need to finish in the top four in Region 7 if it helps to qualify for the Class 5A state title. The Bengals reached the state tournament in 2016 before missing out last season.