With seven of last year’s nine players having graduated, the Wilton High volleyball team will be looking for a lot of new help when the season begins this week.

“Needless to say, this is the epitome of a rebuilding season,” said head coach Heather Schlitz, who is in her sixth season at the helm.

The Warriors opened the season on Wednesday with a 3-1 loss to Trinity Catholic.

The only returning players from last year’s 5-13 squad are senior middle hitter Dani Miskinis and junior setter Megan Stanzione. They are the team’s two captains and top two players.

Newcomers are Anne Giordano (senior middle hitter), Victoria DiPilato (junior setter), Erica Meyer (sophomore hitter), Natalie Smith (junior left side), Erica Miskinis (sophomore left side), Javiara Fiol (senior defensive specialist), and Melissa Hersch (senior defensive specialist).

“This year, we are looking to improve on our previous record by increasing our offensive effectiveness. You will be seeing a very tall front row lineup that will be sure to intimidate our opponents and generate a powerful attack. Also, many of the players, although they are new to the varsity court, have been working hard in the off season to become stronger,” commented Schlitz. “Having so many new people on the court will be a challenge that we will need to overcome quickly. I have much confidence that this year’s squad will come together as one unit and compete.”

The Warriors opened the season yesterday against Trinity Catholic and travel to Fairfield Ludlowe on Friday.

Schlitz said the talent pool in Wilton is expanding, and she is encouraged about the future.

“Overall, the gaps, in regards to skill levels, across all three teams (freshman, JV, and varsity), are narrowing. Over the past few years we have been increasing our community’s exposure to volleyball with various camps and clinics. This past spring we started a middle school intramural league, which proved to be very successful. As a result we had just under 20 freshmen come out for the program this year. In the past, we usually could expect anywhere from six to 10 freshmen.”

Notes: Trinity won Wednesday opener by scores of 15-25, 25-22, 25-9, 25-15.