Despite losing two college talents and three first-team all-state contributors, coach Joshua Forbes actually thinks that this year’s rendition of Thomas Dale High School... Knights  looking to win state
Thomas Dale High boys volleyball coach Joshua Forbes watches in last year’s state championship game.

Despite losing two college talents and three first-team all-state contributors, coach Joshua Forbes actually thinks that this year’s rendition of Thomas Dale High School boys volleyball could be better.

“We have so much balance,” Forbes said. “We have a team full of guys who could be our go-to guy on any night.”

Losing talents like Kimenhour, Scott and Miller hurts, but Forbes pointed out that last year, the Knights had to rely on them to win games at times.

While they don’t have the prototypical “go-to guy,” Forbes said that there are at least five players on the roster who could play that role at different times this season.

Forbes said the Knights could be an improved team with their passing. Gabe Palmer had a huge offseason and showed it at the Richmond Volleyball Club showcase tournament, where the Knights knocked off James River before falling to Deep Run in the final.

“He is in the conversation for the best libero in the whole state,” Forbes said. “He took over the James River match.”

The key to success for Thomas Dale will be controlling the first two contacts better than the rest. With Palmer and senior setter Jacob Craig being two of the more skilled players at their positions, Forbes said he feels like his team has the chance to do that.

What really could propel the Knights is their team chemistry.

“In addition, this is probably the closest team we have had,” he said. “Most of our players have been friends since elementary school, and you can see how that helps them on the court.”

With a strong showing in the Richmond Volleyball Club’s showcase, it appears Thomas Dale is on the right track.