With a young team and mixed record, the girls’ volleyball team remains optimistic about the remainder of the season. So far, the team has won five games and lost four. This week, they won against Valley Union and will continue on to play both the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind and Academy of Tucson.

The team is excited to play against Academy of Tucson on Homecoming night at 5 and 6 PM in the gym. Coach and new TGS Athletic Co-Director Angela Vande Mheen said, “Most of the girls played club, and the Academy coach was their club coach, so it’s always a friendly rivalry.”

TGS Volleyball has played Academy twice before, winning both times. They are looking to come out strong on Friday.

This year’s team is a young one. There are five freshmen, two juniors, and only one senior at the varsity level.

Senior and team captain Janessa Leon-Guerrero knew that it was going to be a year of rebuilding. “I have a lot of hope for the coming season. The whole team has worked tirelessly during both preseason and the regular season. We’ve acquired a lot of skills this year so it’s just a matter of forming that into a strong synchronized force,” Leon-Guerrero said.

Freshmen Rachel Gonzales, Acacia Reeder, Anna Valencia, Julia Taki, and Nina Armstrong are among the new varsity players. Leon-Guerrero is the sole senior on the team, serving as their captain and so-called ‘rock.’

“I love Janessa. She’s just so sweet,” said freshman Acacia Reeder. According to the team, Leon-Guerrero’s guidance has created an inclusive environment. Leon-Guerrero said, “We’ve tried to create a stronger sense of family and togetherness both on and off the court which is one of the most important things to have on a team.”

The team ultimately hopes to make it to the state competition this year. Reeder said, “We have to keep our energy up, that’s a big issue for us. We get down on ourselves after we make a couple mistakes and we also have to get our serves over and place more with bad sets or bad passes and still make a good play out of it.” Leon-Guerrero added, “We’ve achieved a strong base but I know we can improve more.”