After an uncertain journey in 2017, the St. Thomas More volleyball team is happy to have a measure of consistency in its program heading into this campaign. A key player is hoping the Ravens return to being the little engine that could on the Delaware volleyball scene.
St. Thomas More has a new coach, Ken Lutz, but the team found out in June he would be coming aboard. A year ago, a new coach was named just a few weeks before competition began. The schedule included matches that were official but became scrimmages before season’s end. This year, the school is a member of the Eastern Shore Interscholastic Athletic Conference, giving it a measure of scheduling certainty.
Despite the upheaval, the Ravens managed to finish 7-6. Just one player graduated, and most of the others have returned, lending to the optimism. It’s a small roster – as of the evening of Sept. 5, it contained just eight names – but seven of the eight are juniors and seniors, and the other is a sophomore with varsity experience.
“Last year, we had a pretty young team,” said senior hitter Logan Hughes. “A lot of us came back. We only lost one senior. A lot of us have matured over the past couple of seasons, and I’m really excited for this season with our new coach. It will be good.”
As a member of the ESIAC, St. Thomas More will play six conference matches against teams from Maryland’s Eastern Shore. They also have a pair against Tome, out of Cecil County, Md., and host North Caroline (Md.). The Delaware foes include Seaford, Milford, Delmarva Christian, MOT Charter, and Early College High School twice. Hughes said she can’t worry about who is on the schedule.
“We just play whoever’s on the schedule that season. We check the date, and that’s it. It’s just, oh we have enough games to qualify for the state,” she said.
At a mid-August play day, Lutz was more worried about making his team a cohesive unit than its schedule. He said a playoff berth is not out of the question.
“We just need to go out there and play our game and not worry about the other team. If we play our game, and we play it well, we’ll be fine,” he said. “That’s our goal, to get (to the tournament). If we can stay healthy, I think we’ve got a chance.”
Rider, the sophomore, encouraged her schoolmates and others in the community to come out to support the Ravens this season. “I am pretty excited to get started. Volleyball is great, especially at St. Thomas More. We’re smaller, but we’re stronger, a better team.”
Home matches in CAPS
Sept. 10, 4 p.m.: HOLLY GROVE CHRISTIAN (MD.)
Sept. 12, 4 p.m.: SALISBURY CHRISTIAN (MD.)
Sept. 18, 5 p.m.: at Seaford
Sept. 19, 5 p.m.: at Worcester Prep (Md.)
Sept. 21, 4:30 p.m.: at Milford
Sept. 24, 5:30 p.m.: TOME (MD.)
Sept. 26, 5 p.m.: at Delmarva Christian
Sept. 28, 4 p.m.: at Holly Grove Christian (Md.)
Oct. 1, 4 p.m.: at Early College
Oct. 4, 5:30 p.m.: at Tome (Md.)
Oct. 5, 4 p.m.: at Salisbury Christian (Md.)
Oct. 10, 4 p.m.: WORCESTER PREP (MD.)
Oct. 12, 5 p.m.: NORTH CAROLINE (MD.)
Oct. 23, 4 p.m.: EARLY COLLEGE
Oct. 25, 5:30 p.m.: MOT CHARTER