The Varsity Whalers Volleyball team, only a second year program, is off to a solid start. Although they don’t have a perfect record, with two wins and three losses, you can tell their hard work is paying off.
“We’re trying to compete to win every match, and to get better every single practice.” said Head Coach Andrew Viselli on their improvement going into their second season as a varsity sport. “The investment from the players is very high. I think the leadership from the players, from the upperclassmen especially, helps set the tone for the other players.”
In their first game at home against Sturgis West Charter School they lost 3-0, however each match was very close. The Whalers came up short only a few points each.
“I’d like to replay that match right now.” commented Viselli with confidence that the outcome of the match will turn out differently.
The team’s second game saw a similar match with a 3-0 loss, this time against Sturgis East Charter Public School. This game it was evident that the team improved greatly over the course of the three sets. They landed on their feet in the end and finished strong, despite the loss.
“Young teams make errors.” Viselli explained, “When the girls and players build confidence, those errors will decrease and the level of play will start to increase even more than it has.”
The first away game of the season took place in Fall River against Durfee High School, a fairly well established school as far as athletics go. “All the sets were really close,” said Senior Co-Captain Isabelle McEachern, “in the end it just came down to some small mistakes.”
The first win of the season came to the team against Saint John Paul II (SJPII). Senior Co-Captain Ioana Kalpazanova said “throughout the whole game communication was really high. Everything just clicked for us and we put everything out on the court.” The game, which went all the way to five sets, was neck and neck until the last set when the Whalers came out on top with an overall score of 3-2.
This win was especially rewarding for the girls volleyball team, as they found themselves extra motivated after receiving word of a tragedy that struck close to home for the players.
“The morning of the game I actually found out that a friend of mine, Liv, had passed away from Leukemia.”, said Kalpazanova. She also commented that she wanted to win for Liv, and that it pushed her to play her best. This clearly translated to the rest of the team as they cheered “For Liv!” in the final set.
Their second win, this time against Cape Cod Tech, was only days after their first and very similar to the game against SJPII. The match was very intense with each player making multiple kills and even more aces. You could tell the girls were playing to win.
“Confidence is a huge part.” emphasized Viselli on what he thinks will help the future of the season to steal the last point to take the set and win matches. The Varsity Volleyball team has had a good start to their season, and they all look forward to the games on the horizon, as they lift eachother up and work as a team to accomplish their goals.