by Jacob Tommey
The beginning of the school year marks the start of Fall sports. This year the Girls Varsity Volleyball team has the potential to do exceptionally well.
“My goal is to win league overall,” said Crossroads Junior and outside hitter/opposite for the Girls Varsity Volleyball team, Olympia Nagel-Caland. “Specifically, I want to work cohesively as a team. I believe that when we play together, we are very, very good.”
Before the school year began, the Girls Varsity Volleyball team traveled to Hawaii where they participated in the highly competitive Annual Ann Kang Invitational Volleyball Tournament. The Crossroads team was selected along with a handful of other schools. According to Crossroads Athletics Director Ira Smith, the team left for Hawaii on Tuesday August 18th and departed on August 23rd. The tournament took place from Thursday the twentieth, to Saturday the twenty-second. The team’s experience in Hawaii helped to prepare them for their coming season.
As the Varsity Girls Volleyball team is Division 2, they faced a much higher level of competition than they were used to. “They competed against some really high level teams-–all Division One schools,” said Smith. “Even with that I felt the girls did a really good job with their game so to speak. I think they learned how to fight because they needed to–there were some talented teams over there.”
The team’s experience in Hawaii helped to foster and strengthen team bonds. “The girls got the opportunity to travel as a group, live together as a group, eat as a group, swim in the ocean as a group, and do fun things like paddle boarding and luas,” said Smith. “There was a lot of camaraderie built–a necessary facet of any team.”
This year the Girls Varsity Volleyball team will have even more of a leg up on the competition. “Since many other teams in the league lost a lot of seniors that they were heavily dependent on, and we didn’t lose any seniors, we have a competitive edge” said Crossroads Junior and Varsity Girls Volleyball outside hitter/opposite Tyler Fields.
Not only has the team’s dynamic heightened, but many players stand out. “Grace Rose is an amazing setter, Lena’s really good, and Olympia is incredibly talented,” said Harper Graves, Crossroads Junior and Varsity Girls Volleyball outside hitter.
There are two returning seniors, Jessica Friedman and Genevieve Worth, who bring experience and leadership to the team according to Smith.
There is only one freshman on the Varsity Girls Volleyball Team; Lena Tatum. Tatum is a Libero and according to Graves is, “very talented and has a lot of potential.”
The Varsity Girls Volleyball team is seven and eight in their preseason so far, winning five of seven matches since the Ann Kang tournament.
“With a lot of experience under our belt,” said Smith, “I think the team is going to have a really good year.”