Girls’ volleyball on fire this season

“The thing we all love most about volleyball is that it is exciting, fast-paced, challenging, and everyone on the court is involved in every play,” said ARHS coach Kacey Schmitt. “It’s also fun to play, to watch, and to coach.”

With the current record of 17 wins and 0 losses, the Amherst Regional volleyball team is feeling the pressure to keep their winning streak going. The closeness of the team is the driving force behind their success, something Mrs. Schmitt is proud of.

“This is a complete team, with everyone on the court contributing significantly to our success. That’s why we are undefeated,” said Schmitt.

Being undefeated is not a small feat, but with practices consisting of “drills focusing on different parts of the game each practice, and finishing with a fun scrimmage,” each player is conditioned and ready when it’s game time.

“My approach to teaching volleyball is always to try to break skills down and teach each skill well before incorporating them into complicated drills,” said Schmitt.

With the goal of winning Western Mass, the sectional championship, and eventually the state championships these practices are incredibly important.

The captains of the team Jennifer Joy, Megan Rice, and Nina Hayes, are all key figures who work hard on the court and “organize off-the-court team bonding activities, like sleepovers and community service activities,” said Schmitt. “They also help spark the  team with positive talk and motivation on the court.”

They cohesiveness of the team revolves around the idea that everyone is important and valued, as well as “committed, hard-working, and most importantly, works well together.”

Having defeated the previous DIII  State Champions, Frontier High School, earlier in the season boosted the confidence of the team, propelling them onward to beat Minnechaug as well.

“They were the only other undefeated team and we played them at their home court so their fans were going crazy,” said outside hitter Claire Basler-Chang. “We ended up winning 3-1 but every point was a battle. We were so hyped and energized like screaming after every kill. We all lost our voices.”

Other than winning championships, the overarching goal of the season is simply “to stay positive, and united as a team,” said Basler-Chang.

Schmitt agreed, adding, “We accomplish our goals by staying together, staying mentally tough and prepared, and practicing hard everyday to improve.”