But four seniors have graduated from that team, and this year’s squad, according to Head Coach Janet Hannigan, is likely to see tougher going this season now that the school has earned Division I status. In addition, the BVAL competition is more evenly spread out compared to last season, making it “more challenging for everybody.”
On the plus side, the Lady Patriots return five seniors in Ranya Abu Aita, Maddi Hancock, Hayley Kavanaugh, Megan Larmour and Meg Lyons to lead this season’s team.
Over the summer, Kavanaugh was a part of the High Performance team in Florida, which enabled her to play with other elite players from throughout the world. Larmour also has a lot of net experience, having been called up to the varsity team as a sophomore.
Aita, Hancock and Lyons worked hard to improve over the summer and promise to provide energy and enthusiasm to the squad, said Hannigan. Hancock and her sister, sophomore setter Chelsea, come from a good athletic pedigree – they are the daughters of former major league baseball pitcher Lee Hancock.
Hannigan has been coaching volleyball for more than 25 years and is now in her fourth season as the head coach at Heritage. She enjoys coaching in the BVAL because the coaches all “enjoy and respect each other.”
The Lady Patriots’ season begins Sept. 1 on the road against Rancho Cotate, followed by the Merrill West Tournament in Tracy on Sept. 5. The home opener is slated for Sept. 11 vs. Berean Christian and the league schedule begins with a Sept. 17 match at Pittsburg.