Mariners volleyball team progress is slow and steady
By: LaReesa Sandretsky, Lake County News Chronicle
When asked who the stand-out players are on his team, Mariners volleyball coach Tom Frericks had a hard time deciding. In fact, he named three-quarters of the team members before taking a breath.
"Did you get all of that?" he asked.
It's clear there's no star of the girls’ team. They all work hard and have made steady improvement throughout the season, he said, and their record shows that.
They lost their first three games, but they've won three of the last four.
Silver Bay girls have only one choice for a varsity fall sport, making the decision an easy one. Many team members have been playing volleyball for years. Senior captain Alicia Nopola has played since seventh grade and echoed her coach's sentiment about the season.
"We started out a little slow but it's picking up," she said.
Collectively, the team has a lot of experience. Half of the varsity team members are seniors. In addition, Frericks has approximately 19 years under his belt as the volleyball coach. This gives the team a promising base.
"Everybody has their niche and as a group, we're doing really good," he said.
The team’s strengths are many, Frericks said, “serving and hitting are especially strong and defense is improving.”
“All of the girls can hit the ball,” he said.
Starting Monday, the team will have four games in eight days. This is the part of the season where the team sees if its hard work will pay off, Frericks said. Most of the lineup for the rest of the season includes teams that are equal in skill to the Mariners.
"We've just gotta keep grinding it out," he said.
Nopola, for her part, will continue to be a leader by setting a good example on and off the court. Ideally, that attitude will lead to a steadily improving record.
"I'm just hoping we're going to keep winning," she said.