Central Valley High School's varsity volleyball program has never compiled a winning record or qualified for the postseason.
The Hawks dropped out of playoff contention late in the season last year.
"I always have high expectations," said Central Valley second-year head coach Kelly Heese, whose team more than doubled its win total from the previous campaign by posting a 5-7 record in Western Athletic Conference play in 2013. "You have to set a standard. I'm trying to teach them how to play as a team and be winners."
The Hawks have a 13-player roster. Julia Ramsey (Jr.), Lynaya Lerma (Sr.), Elizabeth Olide (Sr.), Erika Perez (Sr.), Nicole Munoz (Jr.), Samantha Alipio (Sr.), Carlie Casal (Jr.), Alyssa Costa (Jr.), Blanca Espinoza (So.), Mikayla Mabie (Jr.), Darian Robinson (Jr.), Elisa Sen (Jr.) and Ellysa Widas (Jr.) earned spots on the team.
"I have a lot of talent out there this year," Heese said. "They're eager to learn. Everyone in their own way will contribute."
Julia, Lynaya, Elizabeth, Erika and Nicole are returners.
Ramsey was selected to the Western Athletic Conference Second Team as a sophomore. She led the Hawks in kills.
"Julia plays volleyball year-round," Heese said. "She has a lot of potential to go very far."
Alipio, Casal, Costa, Espinoza, Mabie, Robinson, Sen and Widas are newcomers.
"Mikayla and Blanca are going to be great assets to the team," Heese said. "Blanca's definitely ready to be there. She's going to progress way more as a player at the varsity level. She's so coachable. She'll do whatever it takes to get the job done."
Key players Mia Lorenzo, Lexy Cordova, Sarah McElroy and Nicholette Mendez were lost to graduation.
The Hawks finished fourth overall in the conference standings (5-7) a year ago. The top three teams in the WAC advanced to the playoffs, including Los Banos (12-0), Central Catholic (9-3) and Patterson (8-4). Central Catholic relocated to the Valley Oak League as part of conference realignment.
Crosstown-rival Ceres High finished in last place in the WAC (0-12) this past season.
The Hawks beat the Bulldogs twice (3-0, 3-1) and improved their head-to-head record versus Ceres High to 7-9 in 2013.
The Hawks tied for last place in league play at 2-10 with the Bulldogs in 2012.
"We set goals as a team," Heese said. "We like to set individual goals as well. I do believe we should be one of the top three teams in league. El Capitan is going to be stiff competition, along with Los Banos."
Central Valley's wrestling, football, boys basketball and boys tennis teams all made history during the 2013-14 school year.
The Hawks' wrestling program won the WAC regular season dual-meet title.
Central Valley's football, boys basketball and boys tennis teams participated in the playoffs for the first time.
"That weighs in on my mind day in and day out," Heese said. "We want to do what the rest of the other teams have done. Playoffs are right there in front of us. The girls think that's an accomplishment. It would be nice to see the hard work and dedication pay off."