Girls volleyball spikes to success early in the season

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Senior captain Jade Walker spikes in a home game against Massepequa.

Dylan Spilko, Staff Writer

This year, the girls varsity volleyball team find themselves in the middle of the pack within their conference.  Sitting at 4th place in Conference AA-1 with a record of 1-2, the girls have an opportunity to finish in the top half of the standings.

While the team hasn’t seen much success yet, they have the advantage of an easier schedule in the latter half of the season.  The girls faced off against top teams for their first two games, Long Beach and Massapequa.  Without winning a set against either Massapequa or Long Beach, the girls volleyball team did not begin their season in an ideal way.

“As a team, I don’t believe we are where we should be or want to be,” said senior captain Jade Walker. “Starting off the season playing the three highest ranked teams in our division let us know that with a better fight we can win a lot more games. I think we can improve our winning streak by fully transitioning from a practicing mindset into a dominating force to be reckoned with while in games.”

Dominating a match following two consecutive losses to open the season is no easy feat.  However, that’s exactly what the Vikings accomplished during their match versus Herricks, winning in three sets on Sep. 19. Senior Allie Barasch dished out 25 assists while junior Tara McCarthy put away 9 blocks to help Port build a momentum for their future match-ups.

“I thought we really came together, and our ability to fight back and grab a win was huge for us as a whole,” said senior captain Anna Finkelstein.  “This win against Herricks brought all of us together and we are ready to take on the next matchup building off of this one.”

With the next two games against Syosset (1-2) and Baldwin (0-3), the Vikings have matches ahead of them that could end up in their favor.

Port Washington expects to climb within their conference with help from their underclassmen. Sophomore Maddie Gallagher and freshmen Maya Berrebi, Sabina Novo, and Cate O’Sullivan have all taken positive strides early in the season, which is key for the Vikings to achieve their season goals moving forward.

“This year, we are full of potential. All the work we did in the offseason is showing in practice, which eventually goes into the real game when it matters most,” said Walker.  “Our long term goal is to not only make it to the playoffs, but to get through the first round as well.”

Senior captains Anna Finkelstein, Emma Roberts, Jade Walker, and Emma Waxman are all looking to provide leadership throughout the year as the team tries to find a way to improve their current standings.  The captains believe that the success of the team relies heavily on the hard work of the underclassmen.

“The core of the lineup is essential for our team to keep winning throughout the season, but we will have a chance to make the playoffs with our younger players,” said Finkelstein.

Port Washington will need to take advantage of their talented underclassmen in order to clinch key wins for the rest of the season. Notable match-ups include an October 5 match against Long Beach, October 11 at Massapequa, and a home game on October 17 against Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK.  In similar fashion to the Herricks match, the Vikings will need to maintain a level of dominance and teamwork in order to have a chance at a playoff spot.

“Our most noticeable game this season was against Herricks, no doubt.  In the game we really pulled things together and used some new plays that worked out great,” said Roberts.  “We are really looking forward to our match against Baldwin, and hope that we can use what we have learned and pull it together on the court.”

The future of the team in the following seasons remains a question mark as the Vikings will lose almost half of their team due to departing seniors.  Seniors currently make up for a substantial amount of space and talent on the team.  The seniors, however, have confidence in their younger teammates.

“There are splashes of talent on this team on the team, but the question is, is there truly enough talent and willpower to keep up with the level of volleyball from the previous years?  I don’t really know, but there are bright spots on this squad that will be able to add to the success of the team for the years to come,” said Walker.

The Port Washington Vikings girls varsity volleyball team will continue to push towards finishing in the top half of their conference.  With fierce competition ahead, it will be interesting to see how the team fares with just over half of their season left to play.