Women’s volleyball looks to strengthen unity

BUMP, SET, SPIKE: Jumping into mid-air, junior Zimmie Frerichs sets up to spike a ball against Waukegan on Sept. 16. The Titans won with a final score of 25-6 and 25-12.

Photo by Ashley Clark

BUMP, SET, SPIKE: Jumping into mid-air, junior Zimmie Frerichs sets up to spike a ball against Waukegan on Sept. 16. The Titans won with a final score of 25-6 and 25-12.

Georgia Arvanitis, Co-sports editor

With a current record of 6-11, the women’s volleyball team looks to improve their overall record and compete well in conference, according to head coach Katie Hoover.

A few changes have been made to the team according to senior co-captain Mary Langas and senior co-captain Maddy Eenigenburg. Langas acknowledges that the team has gone from a more offensive team to a more defensive team.

“We have really emphasized this season the importance of having a very disciplined, scrappy defense,” Langas said. “This has definitely helped us out in a lot of games so far.”

While trying to switch the focus to defense, volleyball has also been flexible with team members’ positions, due to injuries by Eenigenburg and junior outside hitter Sarah Wojick,

“With the injuries that we faced in the very beginning of the season to Maddy and Sarah, people have been moving around [and] playing different positions,” Hoover said. “I can’t say enough about the flexibility that the players on this team have been showing and the unity with which they approach every practice and every match.”

According to Hoover, the team is still working on finding their best lineup. The team welcomed five juniors and one sophomore this season.

In their recent loss against New Trier, according to Hoover,  the team played well.

“People are just getting more comfortable with the speed of the varsity match and also the intensity,” Hoover said. “I think we […] really played well against New Trier. […] We were right there with them for both of those sets and we sometimes found ourselves in a particular rotation where we lost our confidence and we got stuck.”

According to Eenigenburg, the team also played exceptionally well in their tournament in Libertyville.

“I feel that one of our highlights was the first day of our first tournament at Libertyville,” Eenigenburg said. “We all really clicked as a team and everybody was excited to play together. We went 2-1 that day and the energy level was constant the whole [day] which really helped us.”

Langus believes that the team had a breakthrough in their game against GBN. They rallied together even though the game ended in defeat.

“We had played them in a tournament over the weekend and they had beaten us so we were very excited to have the opportunity to play them again,” Langas said. “The first set of the GBN game we really came together and played as a team and played hard. The second two sets were definitely not as great but the first set was a very big moment for us in finding our individual and team roles on the court.”

Eenigenburg and Langas agree that the team dynamic is very strong. According to Langas, the attitudes of the players off the court have assisted them on the court.

“Because we do so much over the summer to prepare for season, we were able to figure out each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” Langas said. “We all get along very well off the court, which translates onto the court. We all have a common goal that we’re working towards together, and this helps our on-court chemistry.”

Langus, Hoover, Eenigenburg and Wojick believe that the team has been getting along well, and are still working to make the team more unified. According to Eenigenburg, this is a top priority.

Eenigenburg and Langas believe that the team will do well in conference. Langas mentioned taking it one match at a time and staying focused.

“I think we will do fairly well in conference; we have some tough competition this season but we have some serious talent on our team as well,” Eenigenburg said. “If we put all of our effort into it, I think we can do really well in the state tournament.”