Returning for his sixth season as New Milford volleyball coach, Tony Nocera is looking forward to the 2018 season as he leads a team with a nice mix of experience and youth.

Coming off a 4-16 season, the Green Wave have been working hard to take the next step as a program.

“Our preseason really went very well,” Nocera said. “We have a hardworking group of kids who are passionate about volleyball and are eager to learn, improve, and compete at a high level.”

Key returners for coach Nocera include Mackenzie Antonucci, Julia DeFalco, Tori DeJulia and Skylar Schaab.

“Our goals are to improve and compete on a daily basis, and at the end of the season be ready to contend for a conference championship,” Nocera said. “We have a nice blend of experienced varsity players with a strong young core. We have high expectations and are working hard to reach them.”

According to Nocera, the South West Conference is a strong volleyball league.

“Traditional powers like Newtown and Joel Barlow plus Brookfield, Weston, Masuk, Pomperaug, Bunnell are always contenders but everyone is looking to get on this list, just like we are,” he said.

New Milford opened the 2018 season on September 7 at Wilton and dropped a 3-1 decision. The Green Wave are back in action at Brookfield on Friday and at Kolbe Cathedral on Monday before hosting a rematch with the Bobcats on September 21.