The Glenvar volleyball team is off to a rough start as the girls attempt to pull off a “three-peat” this season. The Highlanders opened the 2023 campaign at home with a three-set loss to a solid Giles team on Tuesday. Glenvar has won the state Class 2 championship for the past two years while rolling up a 49-3 overall record, including a 26-0 season in 2022. Tuesday’s season opening loss was their first after 38 straight wins through October of 2021. Glenvar was hit hard by graduation as the Highlanders lost four seniors who were key to their success the past two championship seasons. However, they have plenty of talent returning and coach Mark Rohrback is optimistic they’ll be playing at a high level once again this season. “I expect the girls to work hard, make a lot of progress on their individual and team skills and have a lot of fun,” said Rohrback. “I have a lot of respect for all of the teams in our district and area. We will have to play high level ball against all of our opponents.” Returning from last year’s team will be senior setter Audrey Conner, senior outside hitter Natalie McMahon, senior outside hitter Jamie Forster, senior middle hitter Daisy Ann Dawyot and junior defensive specialist Mahre Swanson. “I expect all five to contribute significantly, be great leaders on and off the court, and help the varsity squad have a lot of fun and success this season,” said Rohrback. New players to the varsity this year are juniors Olivia Fobare, Sophie Nicely, and Teagan Pratt, sophomores Sophia Hammersley and Addi Cockram and freshman Sawyer Wilson. This will be the first time in a couple years multiple starting spots are open on the varsity and Glenvar has good players who were waiting for this opportunity. “All our players have multiple seasons of volleyball experience and the ability to contribute right away,” said Rohrback. Mark’s wife Jen returns as varsity assistant and jayvee coach. “We’re the only two coaches in the high school program,” he said. “Stephanie Butler is the middle school coach, and we work closely with her to develop all three teams.” As usual, Glenvar will take on all comers this season and Rohback isn’t to play teams in a higher bracket than the Highlanders’ VHSL Class 2 division. Glenvar is at Class 3 Cave Spring tonight, followed by a trip to Class 4 Blacksburg Monday and a home game with Class 3 William Byrd a week from today.