Olympus High School Volleyball Sets For Stellar Season
Oct 07, 2015 02:33PM ● Published by Bryan Scott
Titans and Spartans shake hands after a grueling match.
By Sarah Almond
From the cafeteria, you can hear the faint squeak of tennis shoes, the excited cheer of voices and the blow of a whistle coming from Olympus High School’s gymnasium, where the OHS volleyball team is fighting to outscore their opponent, Murray High School.
Though the team ultimately suffered a hard 0-3 loss against the Spartans, they started the season strong with a dominating 3-0 win against Cyprus High School on Sept. 3, and another solid 3-1 win against Judge Memorial Catholic High School on Aug. 31.
“We’re started really strong this season,” Head Coach Emily Kennington said. “We’ve got a lot of young talent which is great for our team and the team unity really shows on the court.”
Kennington, who has played volleyball for most of her life, attended Eastern Oregon University in the early 2000s, where she was active on the court in a different way: she was recruited as a member of the women’s basketball team and she’s got an eye for athleticism.
“We’ve got a lot of strength and talent,” Kennington said. “But we still have a lot we need to work on.”
The team of 25 girls is divided into sophomore, junior varsity and varsity groups allowing many of the girls ample playtime across all teams.
“We’ve got a lot of very versatile players who can play different positions and this makes us a very strong team,” Kennington said.
With five freshmen, 10 sophomores, eight juniors and two seniors making up this year’s team, a lot of the players haven’t had much volleyball experience prior to this season.
“The girls are doing really well,” Assistant Coach Lauren Kay said. “They’ve made a lot of progress and while there’s room for improvement, there is a lot of potential. They’ve got all the right tools, we just need to work on refining them.”
Though she’s been coaching a local club volleyball team for over three years, this is Kay’s first year coaching the Titans.
“We love our coaches. They are awesome,” sophomore Elli Barton said. “They can be pretty tough though. They really smack down on technique and make sure you get it right.”
Getting it right is important. As part of a highly competitive division, the Olympus Titans are ready to put in the work to make it to the state championships in late October.
“I think their strongest aspect is that they talk and like each other. They are unified and have each other’s backs. But we really need to work on our setting skills,” Kay said. “If we can figure that out I think we have a great shot at state.”
Despite the challenges facing the Titans, their positive attitude and eagerness to make it to state bode well for the young, talented team.
“There are always things we’re going to need to work on and get better at,” freshman Meredith Lindsey said, and her teammates agreed.
“I think we work great as a team,” freshman Lei Filipe said. “It’s just about personally improving and getting better.”
The team has significant time to prepare for their final game of the season: a home rivalry match against Skyline High School on Oct. 27. As long as the team practices hard, stays positive and communicates on the court, they have a great chance of success.
“Our passing is good, our setting is good and our hitting is good,” said senior captain Makenna Park. “Most games we work hard and give everything we can. But we all need to share the same mentality and stay positive.”