Varsity Volleyball Ups the Intensity

Stepping into this season, the Varsity Volleyball team looks to build on last year’s success and team chemistry. The team is striving to make the playoffs this season.
With new players Camila Marcus ’20, Piper Willinger ’22, and others joining the team this year, the team has shifted to a more balanced number of new and returning members. As a result, the team has seen a significant improvement in its performance and dynamic. Co-captain Harper Pertchik ’20 said, “It feels more like playing on a team rather [than] on my own, compared [with] the past years.”
This year’s team emphasizes hustle, and athletes compete for the ball regularly in practice. Head Coach Eileen Sullivan hopes to increase focus and intensity during practice to bring the team to the next level. Coach Sullivan has been coaching summer camps and doing online research about college-level teams over the years.
With more players, the team is able to execute more complex drills. There are more frequent three-on-three scrimmages and intense hitting exercises. Fast-paced drills have been added to the routine, as the coaches want to improve the agility of the players.
Unfortunately, injuries this season have kept key players out of the game. Ashley Kase ’21 suffered a minor concussion, while Mary Papadopoulos ’21 is pushing through an ACL tear that will keep her out for the whole season, so there is a temporary shortage of back row players.
However, newcomers have stepped up and exceeded everyone’s expectations with their performance. The vacancies have also allowed healthy players to play different positions and become more versatile contributors to the team.
Almost halfway into the season, the team has presented stronger collective technical skills that are elevating them to another level in this year’s games. The team was able to bring Taft to five sets, losing by only two points. The team’s only other losses have been to Andover and Exeter. Even Taft’s coach has stated that the team’s improvement is really impressive.
Although the coaches have expressed that their major objective for the team is to make solid contributions and improve every day, the team is hoping to make the playoffs this season.
With a 5-3 record, the team will play Loomis Chaffee on October 12.