Jillian Risavi and Ali Durkin
Assistant Editors of Production
History was made on Nov. 5, 2016, when the Girls Varsity Volleyball team won their first sectional title since 1975. The legendary game took place at Fayetteville-Manlius High School, where they defeated their rival Oswego 3 sets to none. Although they didn’t make it all the way to states, this group of student athletes proved themselves to be an impressively dominant team.
J-DHS students, including junior Katie Lutz, freshman Grace Dimkopoulos, and senior Nick Palin, are very pleased with the girls and their achievement of being sectional champions. Lutz found the atmosphere of the game to be “very exciting and energetic,” since a lot of students attended to form a rather large student section. “I don’t really know too much about volleyball, but I still thought that the game was really fun especially because of how talented our team is,” said Dimkopoulos who went with her friends and sister. Palin was really happy for the team since he is friends with some of the players and said that he enjoyed being part of the student section. “The girls really did deserve that win,” says Palin. The girls overall appeared to overall “dominate” their opponents especially by the last set according to Lutz.
Following their Section III title, the girls conquered Massena from section 10 on Nov. 8 during the first round of the state tournament, again winning 3-0. The girls winning streak ended after losing to Burnt Hills from Section III in the following round, 3-1 on Nov. 12.
This year’s team was different than past years. The girls began their season with a rough start senior captain Alex Frank said “if you saw us during the first few weeks, during tryouts, you would have laughed.” Their program was weaker early on in the season, “there was no hope,” said junior Libero Kathryn Arendt, until they eventually came together and worked as a team. The girls connected by bonding with one another not only in practice, but outside of practice as well and that connection showed on the scoreboard.
Junior Hannah Smith said the junior and senior classes have “raised the bar,” because of their new profound dedication. “The amount of time (we) have put in has started the new custom for the volleyball team,” she said. For many of the players, it is more than just practicing with the J-DHS team. Multiple girls also play for travel teams, and attend volleyball camps and clinics where they continually enhance their skills on the court. “It wasn’t really a thing before, but we are encouraging the younger girls to follow our lead and do the same. We want the program to progressively improve,” said Smith.