By Katie Schmitt
With the completion of the first set of the game, Oyster River Girls Volleyball remain dominant, 25-20, over St. Thomas, but there are still two sets to go…
Oyster River High School Girls Volleyball team recently defeated St. Thomas Academy on Wednesday evening, putting Oyster River High School 8th in the division II standings. Oyster River is steadily exceeding to the top of the standings game after game.
“The fans, I believe, have a huge impact in the game, I think you can tell through facial expressions and reactions of the players, they seem much more confident when we have a lot of support.” Says Devin Kaya (17’), one of the many contributors to the flourishing group of fans. The attendance in fan support has increased from previous years, and the numbers are only growing. The most recent game brought crowds of students, along with their cheering voices, and even flags to encourage the girls.
“Fan support helps the girls, especially during tough games. Getting the girls to remain focused (on the game and not on the fans) was something we had to overcome early in the season, especially for the girls who were playing varsity for the first time.” states varsity coach Cassy Sweatt. But who wouldn’t be a little preoccupied with the excitement of the fans!
“I think the fans help give our players a moral boost if they are in a slump, or if they are on a run, we help them have the adrenaline to continue it. It is no coincidence we are 3-0 at home.” says Troy LaPolice (17’), frequent attendee of the ORHS Girls Volleyball games.
The fan attendance has not been the only contribution to the team’s successes, the girls hard work is paying off. On September 23rd, St. Thomas claimed victory and defeated Oyster River girls with a 3-2 score, although Oyster River girls bounced back for revenge. Oyster River was able to beat St. Thomas academy, 3-1, bringing their rankings to a 5-3(5 wins and 3 losses). The other two losses being Portsmouth, and Coe Brown. Oyster River recently defeated Hanover, ranked just above the OR girl’s team.
These type of wins, defeating teams that are ranked above of Oyster River, enhance OR girls chances in competing in the final four volleyball competition, held at the end of every season. The playoffs consists of 16 teams that will play numerous games until a group of four final teams is determined. The games are initially set up so the 16th seed in division II volleyball plays the 1st seed in division II, 15th seed plays the 2nd seed and so on. Through multiform games, teams will be either eliminated, or proceed to the next game, where they will compete against other teams that have moved on.
The teams that win the Final Four will then progress onto the championship game. Oyster River were last deemed state champions in 2010, when they won the division II title.
The girls team dynamic has also been a significant asset for the girls team and their success.
“I would say our most imperative goal is to fight. In the past we’ve had skill on the team, but we struggled with fighting for wins or even wanting them enough. This season we want to win, and it shows in how we play. We have a lot more confidence this year and it’s helped us win games” regards Maddie Glass (18’), member of the ORHS Girls Volleyball team
“Team collaboration (from what I can see) has been great so far this season! The girls seem to like each other and can depend on each other to get things done on and off the court.” regards Sweatt.
The girls have been working on improving their team collaboration to help them create a more unified group.
“Our big goals would definitely be to play as a team. We felt as if there was a lack of a connection which created a lack in our performance.” says Sarah Cusack (17’), member of the Girls Varsity Volleyball team.
The girls’ next two games will be at Somersworth on Friday, October 16th with a following game on Wednesday, October 21st at home against Kingswood.