The KO girls volleyball team currently sits at a 12-4 record. They have clinched a spot in the playoffs, taking on Pomfret School in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at home.
The team’s strengths have remained consistent throughout the year. Their strengths are team chemistry and keeping each other’s spirits up. “There’s nothing like being in a huddle as one of the six people on the court,” said senior Co-captain Bella Leuschner. I’ve played club and there’s still nothing like that camaraderie.”
The team’s biggest challenge that they have faced this year has been their defensive passing against tougher opponents. “The passing has certainly been a challenge in some circumstances, but as the year has gone on we have improved on it,” said Head Coach Scott McDonald.
On Wednesday, October 23, the team beat Suffield Academy 3-1. “They’re a rival, and we always really want to beat them,” said Leuschner.Then on Saturday, Oct. 26, the volleyball team traveled to Miss Porter’s to try and follow up their last win with another. However they fell in five sets on the road. “It was a tough game on the road,” Leuschner said.
The team bounced back in a huge win against Loomis, a team the Wyverns hadn’t beat in 12 years. “It was also probably the best game we played both as a team and individually,” Leuschner said. “It was our first game in five sets that we have won this year. We all served really well which was a big part of the victory.”
In KO’s most recent game, the girls beat Cheshire Academy 3-1. Sophomore Lindsay Bailey commented on the victory. “We all played well, but Sydney Smith stood out. We always count on her, and she always delivers,” Bailey said.
In these last few games, lots of players have stepped up. Bailey was injured in the game at Suffield. “Trinity Hudson and Audrey Decker have played really well in place of Lindsay,” Leuschner said. “Lucy Gardner has also hit the ball well, and Kathryn Westrick has set up people really well.”
McDonald talked about his favorite moment so far this year. “Beating Loomis was definitely my favorite moment this year,” McDonald said. “We hadn’t won against them since 2007, and they have always been the standard of a really strong class A school. This year we played at that level with them and we beat them. We earned it.” Bailey also talked about the huge upset. “Everyone played the best they ever had and we were all focused and determined to win which allowed us to move past the tough moments and finish it off,” she said.
The volleyball team has set high but achievable goals for the remainder of the year. “ My goal is always to have a positive and successful season,” Coach McDonald said. “I’m always more concerned with how the team works together than I am about how many matches we win. However this year since we are having such a good season, another goal of ours is to play up against weaker teams, and not to lower ourselves to the level of lesser teams.” Leuschner described how she was feeling coming towards the end of her KO volleyball career. “It’s so sad,” she said sentimentally. “Our team is so close.”
Coach McDonald described what it would be like next year without his four seniors. “It will definitely be a loss,” he said. “They have lots of experience and they are the heart and soul of the team. Also four of our six starters are our seniors.”
The girls volleyball team won their last two games by a score of 3-0 in each game. They beat Canterbury on Nov. 6, and they beat the Macduffie school on Nov. 9. . MacDuffie School on Saturday, November 9.