May 26, 2024
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The Evolution of the RKYHS Girls Volleyball Team

For years, the Kushner girls varsity volleyball team was ridiculed for its poor play. During seasons 2011 and 2012, the team played simply because it existed. The coach held few practices and the games brought out fewer fans than number of players on the team. The girls were not happy and wanted more. They did not want to just play mindlessly, they wanted the chance to play to win.

During the 2012-2013 season the girls were introduced to their new coach, Ellen Law. She was a short woman who, at first, did not seem so intimidating. However, Law came full speed out of the gate and pushed them to practice long and hard. At their very first practice, she made the girls see that in order to truly compete, they had to change–their mindset, their commitment, and their focus. She believed in them, and continued to push them harder until, finally, they began to believe in themselves.

By the following season, the team had improved greatly. They still had a long way to go, but they were well on their way. They were finally learning the rules of volleyball–things like spots, rotations, and basic attacks–and were actually starting to be able to execute attacks, blocks and serves successfully. These were visible improvements, which led to the team becoming less intimidated and harder working. The girls finally had hope, some confidence and a great deal of potential.

This year, the 2014-2015 season, the team is almost unrecognizable from where it began when Law took over. They have now played six games and hold a record of 3 and 3, something that was unfathomable three years ago. Their crowning moment this season was their recent (3 sets to 1) win against Ramaz, the second-place team in the league. The team now has a strong chance to actually make the playoffs and is not backing down. The girls plan to ride this momentum as far as it will take them, and they credit Coach Law for starting them on their way.

By Natalie Leibovici

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