We’re about two months into the volleyball season and so far the team’s record is 15-10.
Coach Johnson told me that the season has “gone pretty well. We had a few injuries at the start of the season and trying to find our rhythm was a bit of a task, but we overcame and have had a good lead going into the tournament.”
Everyone on the team told me the best game they played in was their first game against Pace. According to senior Chiara Kremer, “It was a very fun game to play in. We just lost in the third set by two, which is the closest you can lose by. It was a rally back and forth the whole game, so it was really fun to play.”
Coach Johnson cited the Pace game as well because “We matched up really well with them, so it was a fun game to play.” She also mentioned their game against Marist as one of their highlights. “It was another good matchup for us,” she says “We lost in four sets and we were missing one of our starters, but everyone rallied together and played really well.”
Chiara, Coach Johnson, and senior Elizabeth Hunter all seemed to agree that the biggest strength of the team is their chemistry and how supportive they are of one another. Elizabeth told me that “We really support each other and really just want to work hard and win for each other.”
Chiara agreed, saying that “We all get along really well. No one is the odd one out, there are no problems, and we are comfortable with giving each other criticism. If someone has a bad attitude for one day or someone is slacking, we can just tell them to pick it up and they won’t get offended.”
Being supportive of one another on and off the court is crucial to having a good team as Coach Johnson explained to me. “Our biggest strength is our team chemistry. They all get along so well. They’re really supportive of each other on and off the court and that’s something that makes things hard to manage if you don’t have it, so that’s not something we have to worry about when it comes to practice and game management,” she told me.
As for what the team could improve on, Coach Johnson said “consistency.” She compared their consistency to a roller coaster, affirming their need to manage the things they can control, “taking our time and getting patient and keeping the ball in play. So those are some things we need to work better together on,” she said.
Elizabeth told me that the team could improve on “helping our team when we’re winning and making the freshmen feel more confident so that we’re more capable.”
And for Chiara, she pointed out that “we talk so much off of the court, but I think we need to work on talking even more on the court, but being smart with how we talk. We’ve been doing a lot of communication drills to help us, but we need to keep figuring it out.”
According to Elizabeth, one of the main focuses of strategy this season has been trying to “work as one unit and work simultaneously. We want to blend into one movement.”
Coach Johnson highlighted that the team has “focused a lot on serve/receive. We do a lot of reps each practice in that area. A lot of the girls have been coming in over the weekend to practice serve/receive. And for hitters, we’re trying to focus on short game.”
As seniors, it is Elizabeth and Chiara’s last season on the team, so they let me know some of their favorite memories from the team and what they will miss the most.
“I’m really gonna miss the people,” Elizabeth told me.“We’ve become a family after being with these people for three to four hours every day. We’ve become really close with people from every grade and formed some really special friendships.”
Elizabeth’s favorite memory from the team was when “we were in a game and me and Makayla both went for the same ball and I slid under her and she was scared to hit me so she jumped over me and she ended up hitting the ball over the net with her head. It was a complete accident which made it really funny.”
For Chiara, she told me her favorite memory was when “last year, we went to Florida for a tournament. We had a lot of fun, but Ann Thomas forgot her volleyball shoes at home and it was just really funny.”