Girls’ Volleyball: Team unity plays to advantage for Falcons

September 15, 2009 — by Aanchal Mohan

The girls’ volleyball team is relying on teamwork rather than having a large squad to result in wins this year.

“We’re only nine people and we’re all really close already because most of us have played together for two, some of us three years,” said senior co-captain and strong side hitter Chelsea Sabella. “I think that’s going to be one of our strong points, [but] it’s really going to come down to working with our middles.”

Due to the loss of graduated seniors, the team had to make changes and bring up underclassmen to fill the void.

“Last year, we had really good middles [Samantha Lovelady and Kiersten Dolbec],” said senior setter Alysia Patel. “We had to bring up three middles: sophomores Chloe Knight and Talia Cisco, and junior Megan Brading; all of whom are all pretty new at playing middle. It’s a challenge, but they’re getting a lot better.”

Coach Brad Fredrickson has been working with the new middles separately during practice so that they can be ready for the season.

“Varsity is the complete opposite of JV,” said Cisco. “I’m going to have to work very hard so that I can play the position well.”

As the team works to strengthen up its middle, the defense and offense remain rock solid.

“Defense is a big strength for us with Emily Baba as our libero,” said Patel. ” Our offense is really good with [senior] Nicole [Gragnola] and [Sabella] as our outside hitters and [junior] Hannah Nielson as our big right side.”

Co-captain Gragnola is looking forward to a good positive season.

“[Our] goal this year is to be able to play as a team,” said Gragnola. “Volleyball is a very team oriented game and we need to make sure to support each other and stay positive, especially when someone is down.”

The team is looking forward to beating last year’s record: one win over Gunn High School.The Falcons are playing in the A bracket in the De Anza league. They kicked of their season with the Spikefest Tournament on Sept. 4 and are playing Sequoia High School this Thursday.

“We have a lot of really good teams in our league like Los Gatos and Palo Alto,” said Sabella.”All of the teams are going to be hard to beat.”

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