Law girls volleyball flexible with playing time

Sydney Simpson, Mackensie Ott and Grace Kantor are Law captains.

Sydney Simpson, Mackensie Ott and Grace Kantor are Law captains.

Law Athletics / Contributed photo

Being able to serve efficiently and to keep points alive on the defensive end are benchmarks of a winning volleyball team.

“We are working on consistency in serve,” said Law coach Stacy Loch, whose team is off to a 1-2 start. “We want to work on keeping it in the court and build from there. Defensively, there are still times when the girls are figuring out who next to them that they can trust. With a new team, they have got to communicate that they are going to get that ball. It’s something that grows.”

Sydney Simpson, Grace Kantor and Mackensie Ott will captain a team that graduated seven players from a squad that went 9-3 and lost in the SCC division semifinals in 2020.

Simpson and Kantor bring back experience while Ott is new to the varsity.

“Sydney was mainly in the back row,” said Loch in her 15th season. “Grace is our returning setter. We lost Alexis Neider and Maddie Lula from the outside. We must fill those roles. It (starters) can change at any time. We may see something and move players around. We are looking to see who fits best going forward.”

Kantor had 221 assists, 26 aces and 24 digs her junior season.

Sophomore Ashley Borecki can set, play back row and is an outside hitter. Ott and junior Ella Titlis are right-side hitters. Senior Avery Fitzgerald is back in the middle with junior Nicolina Salanto.

Paige Jolley, who saw varsity time as a sophomore mostly as a defensive specialist, is the libero.

“She is jumping right in and taking job seriously,” Loch said. “The libero receives a lot of the balls, but it depends on the angle of the hitters. They should stay in their lane. Communication in the back row is something we’ve been working on. Also in the back row are Hailey Boyle, a senior who played a few games, and sophomore Samantha Chy, who we moved up to varsity. She is our libero in waiting.”

Loch said her team was excited to get back to playing in front of spectators.

“We opened with Brookfield. It was great. We had students, we had parents. We still wear our masks and keep our physical distance, but it felt like we are back. We had jitters being a young team in an atmosphere most had never played in.”

Fitzgerald (12 kills), Jolley (11 digs) and Kantor (10 assists, 2 aces) led Law in the 25-18, 25-19, 25-23 loss. Law defeated Daniel Hand, 25-17, 26-24, 25-15. Kantor had 20 assists, Fitzgerald 16 kills, Jolley 10 digs and Ashley Borecki five kills.

“We are small with 11 girls on the varsity team,” Loch said. “Overall, we have 22. We are young and pulling girls up from jayvee to varsity to gain experience. With the pandemic, our sophomores lost time playing club or taking part in clinics.

“The kids were excited. Students came by my classroom to say how good it was to come out and root for us. It’s been years since students have seen a volleyball game; some have never seen one.”

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354