BRISTOL - Nothing in high school athletics raises expectations more than putting together a standout season as a freshman.
Bristol Eastern girls volleyball sophomore Zoe Lowe is no exception.
Lowe put together a season that featured 210 kills and the outside hitter was the only freshman named to the CCC South all-conference team, which consisted of 14 players total.
Lowe’s sophomore season was delayed after suffering an injury during the preseason and she didn’t make her first appearance until the third set of Bristol Eastern’s fourth match of the season against Middletown.
Since that match on Sept. 20, Lowe played in 16 sets leading up to the match against Bristol Central.
It was no surprise she was a player to watch versus the Rams.
But the sophomore struggled throughout the match before helping the Lancers win key points down the stretch in the final set.
Lowe’s eight kills against seven errors on the attacking end could have suggested that the sophomore was still not back to 100 percent.
But Lowe said the shaky performance wasn’t a product of any sort of lingering injury.
“It was just an off night [against Bristol Central],” Lowe said. “I’m definitely back and I’m definitely 100 percent and ready to go. It was just an off night.”
Off nights are something Bristol Eastern head coach Stacy Rivoira has seen plenty of during her years coaching, though most of them have come from opposing players.
“Zoey was a little bit inconsistent [against Bristol Central]. Certainly when she puts the ball down it’s impressive and I love to see it,” Rivoira said. “I’d like to see her be a little bit more consistent on both ends, so we’re not giving and taking as many points. We want to have more pros than cons and right now she’s in a game of her points for and points against are pretty even.”
Talent is not an issue for Lowe. It’s just a matter of getting all the talent to show on a nightly basis.
“We’re still working out. She’s a sophomore, she plays aggressively, she’s intense, she’s focused and she’s very competitive,” Rivoira said. “It’s just experience. She needs more and more experience and she’s showing that she can gain much more composure than she had last year.”
Lowe has already been improving since entering the program.
Last season she had 2.6 kills per set and this year she’s at 3.2.
With the impressive first year and a strong start to her second year, there’s heightened expectations for the Bristol Eastern sophomore.