By John Vrancic
CARNEY - They may not be the tallest volleyball team on earth, but one area where the Carney-Nadeau Wolves won't be lacking this season is experience.
The Wolves have just seven varsity players. All of them, however, are senior returners.
"All of our girls have at least one year of varsity experience under their belts, which gives us an advantage," said coach Steve Kedsch. "The girls know what to expect, and they know how to rotate. We have great team chemistry. The girls have been playing together for a while and they're good athletes."
Carney split with four teams in Saturday's Munising Invitational, then won a three-set match at Mid Peninsula on Monday. The Wolves resume Thursday by hosting perennial Skyline Conference favorite Forest Park.
The remaining schedule:
Aug. 29 - Forest Park.
Sept. 10 - at Big Bay de Noc; Sept. 12 - Mid Peninsula; Sept. 19 - North Dickinson; Sept. 24 - Munising.
Oct. 1 - at Bark River-Harris; Oct. 3 - at Forest Park; Oct. 8 - Big Bay de Noc; Oct. 10 - at Rapid River; Oct. 15 - at Superior Central; Oct. 17 - at Menominee; Oct. 22 - Bark River and North Central; Oct. 24 - at Stephenson; Oct. 26 - at Menominee; Oct. 28 - at Munising; Oct. 31 - at North Dickinson.
"When you play Forest Park, you always have to contend with (senior) Lexi Gussert," said Kedsch. "Plus, they're always a solid defensive team and they pass the ball well. They don't give up a lot of freeballs."
Isabella Tancredi, a 5-foot-7 middle hitter, is Carney's tallest player. Joining her in the front row is 5-5 middle Shania Tebo.
"Isabella is probably our most consistent blocker, and Shania seems to get her share of kills," said Kedsch. "Shania is able to place the ball pretty well."
Providing help on the outside are 5-4 hitters Janel Dani and Cassidy Parrett and 5-2 Morgan Eichhorn on the right side.
"Janel can reach pretty high and Cassidy and Morgan have very positive attitudes," said Kedsch. "Morgan is also consistent on defense. She's a real team player."
Carney's 5-1 offense runs through setter Andrea Dani, while libero Ali Theoret appears in all six rotations.
"Andrea has been playing on varsity since her freshman year," said Kedsch. "With Andrea running the 5-1 the last two years, we haven't had to train in new setters. Ali has been with us since her sophomore year. She shows a lot of hustle and covers much of the court."
Besides Forest Park, Kedsch anticipates a challenge from Skyline Conference foe North Dickinson, which split with the Trojans in pool play last Saturday in Iron Mountain.
"North Dickinson returns a lot of good players, and I think Bark River-Harris and Rapid River will be formidable in the Skyline and CUP," he said. "We saw Superior Central in the tournament at Munising and they looked pretty solid. Munising also played well."