Serve's Up!Tuesday, October 25, 2011 By Jaime Firth
After the Nauset varsity volleyball team’s rather upsetting season in 2010, it seemed almost impossible for them to jump back into a new season with full motivation. Last year they left off with a 2-16 record, with both wins being against the same team. However, this fall, the girls are back up and running with a 5-8 record, and three more games left. It’s even better for the team than it sounds, for although they’ve lost eight games, many of them were extremely close, losing by only a couple of points per set. While most of the teams they play throughout the season had lost players due to graduation, Nauset didn’t lose any senior players this year. Rather, they gained two new valuable addition to the team, Rachel Balon and Nayara Marinho. The fact that the rest of the team players were previously on varsity last year is also to the team’s advantage. The girls already knew each other well and are familiar with how each one of them plays on the court, thus, increasing their ability to work together. Along with the players, new head coach J Clark also played a role in the team’s improvement. When asked about the effect of the new coach on the team, varsity player Makayla Allen explained, “Our new coach has encouraged us to play better than we ever have. J brings a positive energy with encouragement that was never there last year.” The girls all claim that their close relationship with J makes them more comfortable during practices and games , therefore helping them play better. A new turn on practices also helped the girls to a better season this year. They started in June with once a week open gyms, during which the team scrimmaged in order to stay in touch with the game throughout off season. For the last few of these open gyms, the team was fortunate enough to have outside training. Barnstable volleyball coaches Tom Turco and Marylou Martin came to Nauset to get the team in better physical shape with a mini boot camp workout. They also helped the team better their basic volleyball skills. With that under their belt, the Nauset volleyball team started their every day season practices. Although they are the same length of time as last year, they are filled with much more challenging workouts and drills this year, in order to help the girls better their playing. After all the sweat and hard work, the girls approached their first game of the 2011 season with confidence, and ended it with even more, due to their first win against Plymouth South. In addition to their better record, the team itself has taken a positive step forward, addressing team building. To keep a happy vibe flowing through the team, the girls do thing such as singing together during workouts and having fun, laughter filled van rides to their away games. Varsity player McKenzie Abraham exclaims what she loves most about the team is “No matter what, even when we lose, we’re always happy and positive about everything.” When asked about improvement of the team rather than the stats, MaKayla Allen states. “I think since we’re playing better, we’re in a better state of mind to work together. We’re overall a lot closer and happier than we were as a team last year.” Whether it is the more effective practices or the happier vibe of the players, changes have definitely been made by the Nauset Varsity volleyball team. Overall, looking at stats, and getting the word from team players, it’s quite apparent that improvement has very much progressed in the team this season.