WAKE FOREST — Heritage volleyball coach Branden Green has seen his players and program grow over the past few years.
The Huskies are in their fourth season as a varsity program; Heritage High opened in 2010.
Last year the team got its first win and conference victory, finishing 3-23. This year the team has won six of its first 11 matches, including four wins at the annual Heritage Husky Invitational.
Heritage faced a new opponent in Rolesville High on Wednesday, but the Huskies had a bit of understanding for the first-year program.
“It brings back some memories,” Green said. “It’s hard opening a school. It takes a lot of character and you take a lot of lumps, but you just try to get better every day and try to continue to grow and move on and get better every year and match, and hopefully we’re doing it right. The girls really buy into working hard and what we’re trying to teach them. ... and it’s starting to show.”
Heritage easily won the match, 3-0 (25-8, 25-5, 25-7).
Rolesville, which competes in the Greater Neuse River Conference, hasn’t won a match in its inaugural season. The Rams team is composed of only freshmen and sophomores.
Heritage senior Taylor Berry, the team’s only four-year starter, said playing against Rolesville gave her a chance to reflect on how far the Huskies have come.
“It made me think of how much I’ve grown as a player, and it made me think how good they’re (Rolesville) going to be later on when they develop their skills,” Berry said.
The Huskies haven’t had it easy, playing in a competitive Cap Eight conference that features several Division I recruits and two teams that made it to the 2012 NCHSAA 4A East regional semis, including eventual state runner-up Leesville Road.
Berry said the Huskies won’t let that deter them from focusing on their goals.
“(Our goal) is to not let the Division I players on the other teams beat us or get us down, because we know that as a team we’re just as good as they are and we’re able to beat them,” she said. “If we believe in ourselves, we can do it.”
Heritage followed the win over Rolesville with a 3-2 (19-25, 25-10, 21-25, 25-18, 15-10) conference win against Sanderson on Thursday. The Huskies travel to Rolesville for a rematch Monday.
“We just want to get better each day and want to be better in October than we were in August,” Green said. “That’s our goal every year ... and wherever that puts us in the spectrum of the Cap Eight is where it is, but we’re just trying to do our best every day.