Thomas Edson and Jamie Boeheim
Varsity Girls Volleyball
Middle front senior Essence Britt, said “I feel pretty confident,” as she talks about the rest of the season and winning more games. As one of the seniors on the Varsity Girls Volleyball team, she is feeling confident about the season and sectionals. The Varsity Girls Volleyball teams led off their season with a record of 5-4, 2-3 in their division, and looks forward to beating team rival, Oswego.
Head Coach Patricia Ferris has been coaching volleyball for 11 years and is coaching her second year of J-DHS Varsity Girls volleyball this year. Ferris explained how she has high expectations for this year’s team and is hoping the team’s hard work in the pre-season will pay off. She explained that her favorite part of the season is the squads ‘’awesome fans. We have had a student section filled with loud, crazy J-DHS students and I have to say- I love it!” Ferris is looking forward to upcoming tournaments in October because, “when we participate in a volleyball tournament, we get an opportunity to play teams we would not normally face and the level of competition is always great,” she said. Ferris, along with most of the team, said they all work really well together as a team.
A common team goal is being successful and making it far in sectionals, the tournament the team works for all season. “I hope that we can win sectionals at the end of the year. I think its definitely possible if we do good this year” said outside hitter junior Melissa Murphy. “The team shows a lot of confidence in one another and the team as a whole,” said Murphy. Pasta parties are dinners the team has together, usually before a game. Murphy enjoys these, as does with right side hitter senior Haley Ripich. Bonding is one of the team’s favorite parts of the season. “I think our team works together really well, so we are expected to do better then last year,” said Hailey Harrigan.
As part of their bonding, the team recently walked for ALS at Long Branch park. They completed a mile walk with Betsy’s Buddies and raised awareness for the disease. Together, the Varsity Girls Volleyball team is eager and confident for the remainder of their season and making it to sectionals.
JV Girls Volleyball
As the start of the school year comes in, so does the beginning of girls volleyball. So far, the Jamesville-Dewitt JV Girls Volleyball team has been having an outstanding beginning of the season with a record of 7-2, as they look forward to playing more games and tournaments.
Matt Coleman, a JD alumni, and volleyball player throughout high school and college, and JV Girls Volleyball coach for two years now, said that as of right now there is room for improvement. “I think we’re in the hardest part of the season. At this level, my biggest challenge is getting the players to focus on continuous improvement after they’ve had some level of success,” he said. Coleman is looking forward to more tournaments and meeting any obstacles the team may face on the court.
The squad is planning on getting revenge on Fulton, and also avenging other losses.
“Fulton is a really good team. We played against them in a tournament on Sept. 13th and they were our toughest opponent,” said outside hitter for the JV team, freshman Kathryn Arendt. Sophomore libero Olivia Byrnes believes another tough opponent is Cazenovia.
The team comes across many challenges, such as keeping up their confidence during a game. “The mental factor is the toughest part of the season because if you get down on yourself then your team gets affected by that, too, so you just have to stay positive,” said Alex Frank, sophomore outside hitter on JV. But team bonding and working hard at practices brings them back together. Lexie Gambacorto middle blocker, believes her team works very well together and are talented. “All the girls on the team have their own special unique talent in their positions, and I think we make a really good team. Our personalities just fit together like a puzzle piece,” said Gambacorto.
Recently, there was a tournament in Oswego. This tournament is when all of the most successful teams go and battle hoping to make it to the championship. JD won all their games but lost one to Marcellus. However, they ended up winning the championship and winning the Gold Bracket Tournament. Frank was announced MVP of the whole tournament. As one of the captains of the team, her and other captain, Eva Dougherty and their team will work hard and strive to take their team all the way to compete in Sectionals at the end of the season
Varsity Boys Volleyball
Senior front row Anthony Cacchione has a strong goal for this season: “defend our sectional championship.” This is a common goal among the players on the Jamesville-Dewitt Varsity Boys Volleyball team.
This year, however, the path to a championship will be harder than last year. “At the beginning of the season, I thought we had a chance at winning sectionals. But then I found out that Oswego joined our section so that kind of killed us,” said junior Ryan Mandelis. The youth of this year’s team compared to that of Oswego, and other teams, is a challenge mentioned by senior weak side hitter Saqif Badruddin. “We lost a lot of our seniors (from last year). There’s only four seniors on our team this year. So we’re mainly a junior team and even a sophomore are [some of] our best players. So we’re a younger team compared to teams like Oswego and Baldwinsville that we play and that is definitely a difficulty,” said Badruddin.
“Obviously losing nine seniors last year makes this definitely a year to develop players and the expectations are always to see the kids play to their highest potential,” said third year Head Coach Kyle Michael. Coach Michael believes that seeing the players execute well and playing to their full potential is the best part of the season.
Even though the path to a repeat is a difficult one, the team still has a lot that they look forward to this season. At the beginning of the season, sophomore middle Ryan Middleton was looking forward to playing Oswego because they are a good team.
The varsity team is off to a 3-7 start, 1-2 in the Onondaga High School League. They have 10 matches left in the 2014 season before they hope to continue on to sectionals.
JV Boys Volleyball
The Jamesville-Dewitt Junior Varsity Boys Volleyball team is seven matches into their season and the athletes are all excited. While the varsity is on a quest to defend their sectional championship the JV players have other goals.
A common expectation and goal among the athletes is to improve as individuals and as a team. “I expect that we’ll improve our techniques and our physical abilities, and we’ll continue to try our best and win more games,” said freshman setter Owen Farchione. Fellow freshman and left hitter Cameron Howe agrees with Farchione. Howe’s goals are “to win a game once and for our team to move around and actually be able to hit the ball to each other.” Sophomore setter, weak side hitter, and captain Dan Thompson also has a goal of improving as a team. Thompson also hopes to defeat Baldwinsville if they meet again because they are a very good team.
There are also some challenges that the team faces. “The toughest thing is probably the lack of support. We need fans,” said sophomore libero Eric Antosh. Howe believes that skills are also a challenge. “The toughest thing is probably getting our passes on to where we want them to go. It’s a lot harder then you would think to get your form all set,” said Howe.
The team is off to an 0-7 start, but has nine matches and a tournament remaining to improve their record.