Rabun Gap’s volleyball team is currently 11-4 and ranked #5 in the NCISAA state rankings! There is more excitement and energy around what this team is doing than what we’ve seen in quite some time, 所以我和总教练佐伊·肯尼迪坐了下来, 助理教练泰斯·戴格尔, 少年队长泰勒·尼克森, and sophomore libero Cassidy Klimasewski to get more insight into their season. We’ve seen some pretty fun and exciting volleyball in Andrew Ritchie Gymnasium this fall!
What’s the biggest shift you’ve seen this season compared to the past?
教练和球员都很快回答了这个问题, and it’s clear to see that there is a strong bond that ties this squad together. Nickerson said that the team chemistry is different and they feel more like a family who is “willing to transform their words into actions.克里马塞夫斯基回应了这一观点, adding that all the girls come to practice all wanting to improve their individual games for the betterment of the team Coach Kennedy says that the team's authenticity is what allows them to thrive. They sometimes giggle at what they all went through during their days as they warm ups and they take water breaks in funny accents. 肯尼迪教练称这些时刻为“小口袋的快乐”,” and they are the things Coach Dagel says help build an environment where no one is afraid to fail. 他说, “快乐比愤怒和焦虑能带来更好的能量,，这有助于团队专注于集体目标和热爱.
这支球队今年正在深入研究战术, approaching volleyball with more complexity and poetry than they have ever been able to in their past. 产生共鸣的优势, 虽然, aren’t offensive or defensive strategies or their ability to adapt to in-game situations. 而不是, their strongest assets have more to do with how they care for one another and the heart and resiliency they play with to find success as a team. Coach Kennedy said her priority is not the game ahead, but it is instead the people she coaches. She pours herself into her players and they, in kind, pour into one another. In a recent practice, both the varsity and junior varsity teams were in a combined training session. Klimasewski and Nickerson were right at home in their element that day; cheering on the younger players, speaking positivity into the gym and creating their volleyball community. “We set the tone for how we want their program to be and how we want our program to be viewed,尼克森说。.
This sense of community has been put to the test in game play this season, and the team has remained rooted and resolved in the foundation of “we over me.” In an early season tournament in Charlotte, the team went 0-2 on their first day of competition. Coach Dagel sees this as a turning point in the team’s first weekend of competition of the season. Leaders on the team spent that night and the next morning speaking truth and life into the team, 敦促和鼓励团结和勇气. 老鹰队在比赛第二天的第一场比赛中获胜, 以2比1击败夏洛特天主教队. 以第一个周末的势头为基础, 在过去的12场比赛中，拉本盖普赢了11场. 最近在阿什维尔, the girls stood up to yet another strong test going down 13-3 to Asheville School in the first set. Sofia McNabb then went on to do something Coach Dagel called “unheard of in high school volleyball,连续发球16分! What kept her going in that service run was the energy the team was able to bring, Nickerson said. Klimasewski said that every time Asheville would rally during a point, the team would dig in harder just to keep McNabb on the service line. 这是一场考验勇气的比赛, and the Eagles swept the Blues in straight sets after winning the first set 25-15 thanks to that improbable 22-2 run sparked by McNabb’s serve.
如果你看过今年的主场比赛, I hope you’ve arrived early enough to witness the team invite their opposition to pray their team prayer with them before the first serve. I asked about this and was thoroughly impressed with what I learned. 在季前训练营中，圣经教师兼助理牧师Dr. Chelsea Williams joined the team in an exercise to craft that prayer. Klimasewski said the exercise and the prayer is so impactful because “prayer brings people together just like volleyball brings people together.” Their prayer asks that sportsmanship be on display during the game, that God keep the players safe and for extra guidance through the match so that they may perform their best for The Audience of One. It is noticeable that the volleyball team has internalized our athletics department's aim for the year of being passionate, 卑微的, 和纪律. 他们在引领潮流!
2023赛季还有很多排球比赛要打. 老鹰队将于周二前往阿什维尔克里斯蒂安, 9月12日, 周四去富兰克林高中, 9月14日将会是一场艰苦的比赛. Coach Kennedy is not interested in talking about rankings or streaks, 因为他们不是她的首要任务, 随着老鹰队的赛季进入一些决定性的时刻, she wants her team to “believe in what we are doing and the bond we have built to help us navigate the challenging teams. 我们的重点是离开体育馆时为我们所取得的成就感到自豪, 并为我们的身份感到骄傲, 不管最后的比分是多少.”