Cottonwood volleyball wraps up their 2018 seasonDec 10, 2018 05:33PM ● By Brian Shaw
Cottonwood volleyball team finished the year 6-10 record, going 5-1 in preseason. (Photo/Paige Allred)
By Brian Shaw | [email protected]
For the Cottonwood Colts volleyball squad, their start in preseason had many believing the Colts would return to the state playoffs for the second consecutive year.
However, several key injuries combined with having a young team that lost several starters to graduation compounded Cottonwood's problems as the year went on.
According to head coach Elizabeth Allred, Cottonwood happens to play in one of the toughest regions in the state.
Once Cottonwood started region play, that 5-1 preseason record quickly evaporated. Before the Colts knew it, they were not only out of the region title picture, they were going to miss out on state for the first time in three years.
Cottonwood finished the year at 6-10 overall, earning just one region victory in 2018. Yet in spite of the Colts tough year, Allred said she was most proud of her team's spirit.
"The one thing I would not change about my team is their positivity," said Allred, who wanted to emphasize the "not" in her view of her team. "They are always laughing and having fun which can go a long way in the game."
According to the final stats, the enjoyment Allred's kids had for each other and the game went a long way.
Sophomore Gladyz Faka'oisula led the Colts with 44 kills on 114 attempts — an impressive kills percentage of 38.6 percent for a young player.
Fellow soph sensation Maddi Rucker smacked down 35 kills herself on 101 attempts, netting her a 34 percent kills per game average.
For the juniors, Gladyz' flesh and blood Lepeka Faka'oisula had 23 kills on just 50 attempts and actually had higher kills per game average than either her younger sibling or Rucker.
The other junior who stood out who will also be returning is Sia Faingaa, who netted 16 kills on 46 attempts — another upperclassman who had a respectable hitting percentage.
On the flip side, the Colts do lose five players to graduation, including Loa Pututau — who battled through injuries all season — and Lily Velovaa, who was Cottonwood's second leading hitter behind Gladyz.