Paige Gryski                                                                                                                                        Opinions Editor
November 2, 2016

     Last year, Atholton Volleyball had an unfortunate early exit at the hands of River Hill. This year, the team thrived and defeated the Hawks in three sets and currently have an 8-1 record. The team has all the ingredients to be dangerous in the playoffs and are poised to make a deep run to the state championship.
    “I think we’re beginning to peak because at the beginning of the season we weren’t very intense; we’re starting to pick it up and we’re getting to a pretty high point I would say right now,” said Senior captain Samantha Miller.
    Teamwork is something that makes this team a very dangerous threat and allows them to stay in games even during immense adversity. That could be seen in the Raiders’ win against River Hill: a game in which the Raiders trailed two sets to one. The Raiders stuck together, fought back, and ultimately rallied to win in come-from-behind fashion.
    “We’ve all morphed into this big orb. Instead of us all having these individual plays that we want to run, and defensive movements, we all run the same thing and really know how to work with each other,” said Senior captain Hope Kelly.
Spectators have also been very complimentary of the team’s ability to work together as a unit and come out victorious on a regular basis. Dae’trell Gordon, an avid spectator and supporter of the volleyball team, has noticed a team-wide shift in energy as the season has progressed.

     “Right at the beginning of the season, they weren’t really playing as a team, but as time went on they got more aggressive and they felt more together,” Gordon said.

“We’re starting to pick it up and we’re getting to a pretty high point I would say right now,” said Senior captain Samantha Miller.

     Through this increase in team unity, the squad has come together to win more games. Many people around the program have heard of the success and are now starting to fill up the bleachers at many home games, creating a rowdy home-court atmosphere.
    “[The crowd] can actually influence the play a lot sometimes, especially a really rowdy crowd,” said Miller. “Glenelg used to have a really big crowd and two weeks ago, Hebron had a huge crowd and they were really loud and we went to five games for that, but we ended up losing. I think it can end up mentally tearing you down because it’s all these people cheering for the other team and not us,” 
    A turning point in the season was the tough 3-2 set loss to Mt. Hebron. Despite losing, many of the players began to rally together and push each other to play better. They gained a lot of confidence and as of now, feel as though they are a top contender to win states.
     Referring to the loss, Kelly said, “It was a good learning experience for us. We moved our rotations around, and now we’re succeeding.”
    The season for the volleyball team has been up and down, but with the resurgent play of the team and leadership from many of the seniors, the team is now in a potent position to take states. The team fully believes in their ability to take down any obstacle that gets in the way of the team reaching their ultimate goal: a state title. As the big time supporter Dae’trell Gordon stated back in August: “I expect them to go to state championships and win it!”



Posted by Paige Gryski