Seniors lead the way for Tupper Lake spikers

Tupper Lake volleyball (Enterprise photo — Justin A. Levine)

TUPPER LAKE — The Tupper Lake volleyball team is heavy with seniors this year, and that combined experience looks like it could lead to another successful season.

After more than 40 girls tried out for the team, head coach Diane Helms was in the unenviable position of having to make cuts.

“We had a few that cut themselves and a few that I moved back to the lower level just so they could grow,” Helms said.

With school nurse and former volleyball player April McClain taking over the modified squad this year, Helms sees a lot of promise in the upcoming crop of Tupper Lake volleyball players.

But the seniors on the team bring with them loads of experience, as many have been playing in the Tupper Lake system since middle school.

“I’ve had these girls with me since they were 9 or 10 years old,” Helms said. “Most of them have been captains at one point or another.

“I think we’ll be pretty strong.”

Senior Rebecca Delair played volleyball on a Massena club team all winter and is bringing a lot of experience and command to the court this year.

“I played in Massena and Madrid-Waddington and I learned how to work better as a team and how to come together,” Delair said. “My approach was better and I think I became a better leader.

“I think I became an overall better leader. It’s really cool to see modified girls look up to you and want to be like you. And even girls on the varsity team that are freshmen or sophomores look to you for guidance. It’s a really rewarding feeling for working so hard.”

Senior Maddie Kentile is looking forward to ending her high school volleyball career on a positive before heading off to possibly attend medical school or become a physician’s assistant.

“I just hope that we have a good season,” Kentile said. “Win or lose, I just hope we get along good and try to be the best we can.”