Girls’ volleyball: team optimistic despite loss of pivotal players

September 24, 2010 — by Aashna Mukerji and Amy Jan

After the loss of five starters to graduation, the girls’ varsity volleyball team is working especially hard on technique since this year’s team is younger than those in the recent past.

“[Losing five players] was tough for us, since there are six people on a court at a time,” said co-captain Sarah Blegen, who is the team’s starting out side hitter and kill leader. “What we lost in height, we make up for in hard work.”

With the season just starting, the team hasn’t yet figured out its rotations or what will work best on the court. However, the team is hoping for a return trip to CCS with the addition of two freshmen, passer Jennifer Ho and opposite Katelyn Mollahan.

“Both freshmen show talent and will definitely be leading the team in years to come,” said Blegen.
Positions on the team have been set, and the team is gradually familiarizing itself with each new stance. Recruited by UC Santa Barbara next year to be a setter, co-captain Hanna Nielson continues to show her strong leadership during practice and games.

Along with Nielson, Blegen proves her willingness to improve the team and its abilities.
“[Blegen and Nielson] always have energy to go after the ball and have the drive to win,” said sophomore Ramya Swami, who plays in the front row. “You couldn’t have picked better leaders for our team.”

Since the team is smaller than most of those in the league, he plans to work on ball skills and defensive play in order to make up for their size.

“Every player on the team is 100 percent committed to working hard, giving their best, and to improving individually and collectively as a team,” said coach Brad Frederickson.

To deal with the fatigue of each game, players are working to keep up their stamina and energy level on the court.

“If you see us after practice, we all get so bruised and battered, but when you play hard, that’s when you enjoy it the most,” said Swami.

Although the team has high expectations for their season, they are still ready to work hard to overcome any obstacles in their way. They plan to work on communication more, and will strive to maintain their spirit following a loss.

“On the court, we should be like a family, looking out for each other and holding each other up,” said Blegen. “We need to have confidence in our abilities as a team and go out on the court wanting to win.”