SAN TAN VALLEY — The Poston Butte volleyball team has set a lofty goal for themselves of only losing five games this season.

“That’s a very high goal, but this team is the one that wants to do it,” coach Belinda Quesada said. “This is the first time we’ve ever set a goal like that.”

Quesada added that the identity of this year’s team is to play as one.

“These girls have not had any kind of attitude, have not had any type of individual play; they are one,” she said.

Quesada said that in order for the Broncos to accomplish that goal they need to stay healthy, is which the most common risk all teams are facing this season because of COVID-19.

Poston Butte was down two key players to start off the month. The Broncos are familiar with dealing with COVID protocols; the team went nearly three weeks last year without a game, as they had to quarantine.

“The good thing is the girls were not in school, and we did not get exposed, so we still have the rest of the team that’s healthy,” Quesada said.

The Broncos have six returning players from last year’s varsity roster in Merceydi McCann, Abby Kern, Alexis Gaitan, Mia Montes, Payton Thompson and Breyanah Olague.

Olague led the team in kills last season, with 61 as a sophomore, and was tied for second with 29 blocks.

Kern was second in kills with 55 during her junior campaign, she also had 11 blocks and served a team-leading 28 aces.

Thompson is the top assist returner from last year, as she posted 15 assists.

“I expect them to set it up and lead,” Quesada said. “They know what we’re going to face, a faster-paced game. We play our non-conference teams that we know we’re going to have to battle with, and then we have to see what we have in our region.”

Along with a handful of transfers that includes former Florence Gopher, Addison Cluff, Poston Butte features a lot of new faces to its varsity team.

“We have quite a bit of girls who came in and gave us a new look,” Quesada said.

The Broncos have 17 regular season games scheduled and currently hold a 1-3 record in powerpoint games. Poston Butte is in the Black Canyon region along with Vista Grande, Apache Junction and Combs.

“We have to just play one game at a time but also meet our expectations,” Quesada said.

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Maria Vasquez is the Sports Editor for PinalCentral. She can be reached at mvasquez@pinalcentral.com.