After being knocked out of both the FCIAC and state playoffs by Fairfield Ludlowe last year, the Staples girls volleyball team is out for an impressive postseason run and a little payback.

"If you don't have the goal of an FCIAC and state title, you're not doing your job. You have to press that on the girls and really go for it. If you don't vie for championships, you won't win championships," Staples coach Jon Shepro said. "Ludlowe is the closest school , so it's always a bitter matchup in any sport, but there's definitely a feeling of revenge because of last year."

Shepro returns a strong senior class loaded with talent and leadership. Senior captains Joosje Grevers, Anna Link and Kenzie Roof are all looking forward to a competitive season.

"Our team looks really great this year and we have all been working hard and I really think that it is going to pay off," Grevers said.

Shepro has been around a lot of these girls since they were underclassmen. He was the junior varsity coach before taking over for retired coach Bruce Betts last year.

"I've been coaching Joosje [Grevers] and Anna [Link] since they were freshman, and it's been awesome to see them grow up as players and young women. We had conversations about this year a while ago, they've been awesome leaders and players," Shepro said. "And Kenzie [Roof] fit right in, she's bright, energetic and knows exactly how to motivate a team. So far they've been fantastic"

One player that will need to step into a key role, Shepro said, is senior Dani Kosinski, who will take the starting setter job.

"Most everyone else has found time on varsity. Dani's coming into a lot of playing time at a key role on the team, and I think she can handle it well," Shepro said.

After losing key players Alex Masiello, Lucy Stanley, Dana Rappaport, Kristen Weiler and Melissa Sweeney, the Lady Wreckers look to bring an intensity and quality of play to the court and be a force in the FCIAC.

"We have a lot of experience, a lot of these girls have been on varsity for one or two years now," Shepro said. "I always have the highest expectations for any team I coach. We made a nice run in the playoffs last year and we have good returning players, so I have good feelings about this team."