2022 Volleyball Playoffs Preview

September 16th at the Coe Brown gym the Oyster River High School Girls’ Volleyball team had their first loss. Ten games and ten wins later the team was on a winning streak, leaving the September 16th game as their only loss of the season.  They’re not planning on stopping the winning streak anytime soon. Playoffs are right around the corner and the bobcats are prepared to take it all the way.

On October 21st the team won their last regular season game 3-0, adding to the winning streak and giving them a 15-1 record to round off the season. This record ties them with the team’s rivals, Coe Brown. 

The tight friendship of the team has been something that has put them ahead of where they were last year. With this, they’ve found a new sense of composure and unity that will help them face Coe Brown and other powerhouse teams in Division II.  Playoffs for the bobcats start October 29th at their home gym.

Oyster River in a group huddle during a game 

Maeve Amarosa (‘23) is a senior on the team who says this past season has been her favorite so far. She thinks that the bond the team has will help them in the playoffs. “We’re pretty much all best friends on the team. We hang out every day so we’re super close.” 

Annabelle Svenson (‘24), a junior on the team, agrees with Amarosa and adds, “We’re ending on such a high right now that is just going to carry on to playoffs.” Svenson mentions their regular season win against Coe Brown which was their second to last home game. The team faced Coe Brown after losing against them in the beginning of the season 1-3. The Bobcats took the second game 3-2. “That was such a big win for us, because now we know that we can go in and we can take any team because they were undefeated.” Svenson believes this win is a great way to go into playoffs saying, “we have this mentality of we can do whatever we want as long as we keep that steady energy and play with intention.” 

Svenson says intention is this year’s theme for the team. Senior Emma Hampton (‘23) adds on to this saying, “our coach is really focused on talking about determination and starting off every game focusing on the game plan and not getting lazy with any aspect of the game.” Hampton says this is the game plan they are going to use in the playoffs. “We want to start strong and finish strong rather than getting a set or two in and then assuming we’re going to be okay in the last set.” 

 #8 Emma Hampton (‘23) spiking the ball 

The playoff plan also includes staying calm and not letting emotions get the better of the team. This is important considering the tension surrounding Oyster River’s rivals, Coe Brown. The teams could not be more evenly matched after trading wins and losses this season the teams are tied in every aspect for the number one seed.  

Being the one seed for playoffs means that that team has the best record. This also earns that team a by in the first round of games. When talking about how the seeding works for playoffs Svenson says, “We’re totally tied for first [seed], it’s really confusing how [the NHIAA] does it… it has to do with the number of away games you won and other stuff like that…it looks more and more like we’re going to come down to a coin flip.”  

The team last year lost to Coe Brown in the semifinal game. Hampton says they played differently then saying, “there was a revenge mindset, like wanting to beat them rather than wanting to play and do well in general.” Hampton thinks the team this year is playing with more composure and less emotion. 

Amarosa agrees saying, “I feel like last year we played with emotions a lot and we let it interfere with us. But I think this year we’re pretty levelheaded.” Amarosa and Hampton say that they aren’t going into playoffs angry at Coe Brown, they just want to do well. The method proves to be working considering they did not beat Coe Brown in any regular or postseason games last year, but this year they pulled out a win.  

Svenson adds on the levelheadedness of the team mentioning that the team is supportive of each other this year. “It’s a really interesting dynamic. Normally you mess up and you’re really upset, and now whenever anyone messes up our team just laughs it off. The seniors this year are great, and we have great leadership.” Svenson thinks that with the team’s attitude now, this is the year to win it all.  

#14 Jade Turgeon (‘23) and #12 Chloe Hawkes (‘23) high fiving before the start of the game 

Even if Coe Brown takes the one seed this year, Oyster River girls will still have a home playoff game for the first round. Playoffs for the bobcats start 10/29, come pack the gym to support our girls. Let’s go bobcats! 

-Abby Deane 

Photos by Madelyn Marthouse