Girls’ volleyball, 7-0, works on strategy, plays

The Newtonite

[media-credit name=”Gloria Li” align=”alignleft” width=”275″][/media-credit]

Junior Emma Berger bunts the ball during a home match against Norwood Tuesday, Sept. 13.

by Gloria Li
All players on girls’ volleyball, 7-0, have strong basic volleyball skills this season, according to coach Richard Barton.
Many key players graduated last year, but “we may end up surprising the state,” he said.
Numerous members of the team are competing on junior Olympic teams outside of the school, he said.
Those players include senior Laurie Kamenetsky, juniors Emma Berger, Keane Brazda, Anya Carr Klein and Deanna Cortina and sophomores Micaela Cohen, Maeve Greeley and Alana King.
Referring to the members who play and practice outside the school, Barton said, “That’s in part why our team is so strong and is in such a competitive standing.
“We still need to have stronger attack and block strategies though,” he said.
This season, however, Barton is hoping to shift his main focus from building a strong foundation to creating team unity, he said.
“All the skills of volleyball are important, but having enduring team unity throughout the season is the most critical,” Barton said.
For wins, the team must be emotionally together and each member must also be strong, Barton said.
“My goal is to get a good cohesive, unified and supportive team together so that even through losses they will be attacking and serving with confidence,” he said.
According to Kamenetsky, a captain with the rest of the seniors, the Tigers need to work on making more strategic plays, such as serving and hitting deep in the court, where few members of the opposing team are prepared to respond.
The Tigers should also prevent against position slip-ups during games, Kamenetsky said.
“Against a weaker team such as Norwood, it was fine, but if we did it later in the season, it would be a problem, so we’re working on that now,” she said.
Barton said he hopes that the team will keep up its confident serving, even against the tougher opponents such as Brookline, Braintree, Walpole and Wellesley.
In past years, the Tigers have typically defeated Brookline, but this year, Barton said, the Warriors have two of the best players in New England in seniors Jamie Francona and Maya Midzik.
The Tigers will play at Needham Tuesday and will host Medway Wednesday.
According to Kamenetsky, “Needham has the tallest team members and they’re usually imposing at the net, but they will make a great gateway team to Medway.”