Solidified East Rutherford takes aim at Kings Mountain

Aug. 13, 2014 @ 09:11 AM

The East Rutherford Lady Cavaliers look to rebound from a dismal 2013 season as they prepare for their August 18 home opener against Kings Mountain.

Second-year Lady Cavs coach Jessica Goforth attributed her teams past failures to lack of cohesion, but said she will field a much more solid squad this season. 

“We had a couple of girls that had to come up from J.V. to fill a couple of spots,” Goforth said. “We lacked experience ... We have five seniors, this year, two juniors and a sophomore.”

Goforth said shuffling her roster and fielding younger, less experienced players had a negative impact on team’s confidence, which often led to them not having the wherewithal to rally back when behind.

“Sometimes we did not play together as a team. We would get defeated before the game was over,” Goforth said. “With the seniors stepping up this year, having the experience of playing since their freshman year, they are coming together and playing as a team.”

Despite losing 2013 seniors Kayla McCurry and Emily Dotson, Goforth said she feels confident that Tamara Blanton and Kara McCurry will fill the void. She will also rely on the her more experienced players such as outside hitters Cragan Hardin, LeAnna Briscoe and Montana Hollifield. 

“They all started in some sense or form,” Goforth said. “Each player brings something different to the court. I have great setters, great outside hitters. I wouldn’t say one is better than the other. They all bring an asset to the team that makes the team what it is.” 

The Lady Cavs finished the 2013 season with a 5-14 record, but look to set the tone early in the 2014 season with a win Monday against Kings Mountain, the Southern Mountain Athletic Conference (SMAC) champions, who finished last season with a 15-1 record. 

“We’ve been working a lot harder, this year, and coming together more as a team,” Hardin said. “We talk a lot more and we have a lot more communication (on the court). I think things a little bit more energetic.”

Despite their 2013 record, each of the five returning seniors has one goal in mind – capturing the SMAC conference title. 

“My personal goal is to finish out my senior year with a bang,” Julie Martin said. “I don’t want to go out with the record we had last year. We need to step it up and I think we have the capability to do that and become conference champs.”