A number of the members of the Oakville girls volleyball team were on the court during the celebration after the last spring.
"They saw what the boys program accomplished and said they were going to do the same thing," Oakville coach Morgan Lucas said.
That is certainly a lofty goal for a team that has never made it to state. But the Tigers have the size, talent and experience to make this a very interesting season.
"Our goal is always to have a 20-win season and we fell just short of that last year," said Lucas, whose team was 18-12-3 and 4-4 in the Suburban West Conference. "But we did that with just one senior (Erica Reilly). This year, the girls are expecting a great season. We have a lot of experience and this is definitely one of my deepest teams. We have 12 girls who are fighting for positions."
Lucas, who begins her fifth season as head coach, will once again use a 6-2 offense. Both setters, senior Sarah Stepp and junior Kayla Reeg, return to run the offense.
Senior libero Danielle Breeher is the team's most experienced player, competing on varsity for her fourth year. She is a tremendous passer and defensive player. Breeher led the team with 572 digs.
Oakville has some proven finishers on the front line led by senior outside hitter Jen Wolken. Wolken led the team in kills last season and was voted by her teammates as the Tigers' Most Valuable Player.
Junior middle Sarah Makowski is 6-foot, 1-inch and a force in the middle. She led the conference in blocks last season and was selected for the all-conference team. Makowski is a three-year varsity starter.
Another junior, Jennifer Brendel, returns as a middle hitter. She is six-foot.
Seniors Annie Leonard, who is 6 feet, and Carissa Schmidt had more than 100 kills last year (as did Wolken, Makowski and Brendel).
Senior defensive specialist Abby Ullo is another returning varsity player.
"Almost all of these girls played club ball and they are very excited about the season," Lucas said. "They know that they have almost everybody back and also know that other schools have lost a lot of key players. We have a lot of seniors and they want to make their final year a special one."
Oakville opens the 2011 season with a home match against Fox on Aug. 30.