Volleyball prepares for the postseason


AHS volleyball players jump up to try to block a spike in an unfortunate 3-1 loss to Edison.

The varsity volleyball team looks to bounce back for their district tournament match against Hayfield. (The results of the 10/25 game were not available during the publishing deadline.)
The Atoms fell to Thomas Edison 3-1 in their last game.
The team’s overall record sits at 4-11, but the team believes they can turn things around during the postseason.
“To win the first game of districts against Hayfield, we need our offense to find holes in their defense in order to score and keep our energy up the entire game,” senior Katie Murphy said.
The players believe it is crucial that their ability to score points could complement their defensive efforts.
“We have to work on our offense,” junior Catherine Connell said. “Our defense was there but we were not getting many hits in.”
The Atoms are going up against a strong Hawks team who played very well in the National District and earned a number three seed, meaning the game will be tough.
If they come out with a win in this game, they will advance further on in the district tournament.
“My expectation for our team at districts would be to play hard, keep our heads up through anything during the game, and to have fun,” junior Juliette Andrez Balcarcel said.
However the Atoms perform at districts, they have an automatic pass to the first round of the regional tournament, meaning that they must continue to work hard.
“I think we’ll be able to hold our own,” Connell said. “We have a chance if we can serve and serve and receive well.”
The players also hope they can stay true to their fundamentals and limit any errors for whatever upcoming post-season games they may have.
“To prepare for the district tournament, we had a Saturday practice and have been working on our defense,” Murphy said.
The post-season tournaments are a major part of the volleyball season and the squad has progressed towards this moment.
“We have been preparing for these tournaments this entire season,” head coach AJ Witkofsky said. “I shared a quote with the team early on in the pre-season from Abraham Lincoln which reads, “give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe,” which speaks to how important our preparation is.”
Besides fundamental skills, team morale and energy will also be key factors in determining the success of the Atoms during the postseason tournaments.
“This team has started to turn a corner in the last few weeks of our season,” Witkofsky said. “I have seen the intensity and focus ramp up which shows when we are on the court. We most recently played our match as a unit, so I’m excited to see what happens in these postseason tournaments.”
The team has worked extremely hard throughout the season to try and prepare for the postseason tournaments.
They hope that every practice and game they’ve had this season has helped them prepare for the big moment.
The team shares the common goal of performing well in their postseason.
“My goals for the rest of the season are to make it past the first round of districts.” Witkofsky said.