They started the season with a new coach and without six of the teammates that had gotten them to the Group 1 title in 2017, but the 2018 Verona High School volleyball team regrouped and got to within one win of last year’s record. Their coach couldn’t be prouder.
“Our team successfully rebuilt a team that had lost many very strong competitors at the close of the 2017 season,” says Sherilyn Ferrari. “Our 2018 team had to learn how to play as a supportive and trusting unit given all the changes that had been made on the court. At the beginning of this season it took a bit of adjusting and, but they navigated this challenge beautifully and worked hard to achieve tremendous accomplishments.”
VHS volleyball 2018 finished the season with a 26-4 record overall, and a 12-1 record in section. They earned the county championship and Verona’s third straight sectionals title before falling in the Group 1 championship game against perpetual rival Bogota. Along the way, they racked up 801 service points (216 of which were service aces), 783 digs, 700 kills, 152 blocks and a whole lot of camaraderie.
“Our team worked hard and developed a strong bond which I feel was very evident on the court in the late half of the season,” says Ferrari. “Every member of this team, even if they did not see play time has contributed to the success of this team. The dedication of all of our athletes is what has gotten us this far. Every individual at practice understood that they had to give their best effort to be sure that we could be dominant on the court on game days.”
The 2018 team was led by seniors Brooke Cooney, Hunter Coppola, Nicolette Marino and Kate Ryan, who returned to the squad after sitting out her junior year due to injury. “These young women have a passion and understanding of the game that is deeper than most athletes,” Ferrari says. “They worked together to problem solve in the hard moments and were focused on teamwork to achieve success, which is exactly what they did. While we may have had a heartbreaking day at group 1 finals, this team achieved many accolades this season. They were honored as Conference Champs, County Champs, and Sectional Champs. This is not something that happens by luck or accident, It happens because these girls are talented, driven, and play as a cohesive unit.”
Ferrari also praise the efforts of the team’s two other seniors, Erin Kiernan and Daniela Trujillo did an amazing job as well. “Daniela encompasses more spunk, energy, and encouragement than one could imagine,” Ferrari. “When we needed to be lifted up it was her voice you heard above all others. She worked hard and really came into her own as this season progressed. She had a tremendous year with both blocking and serving, but above anything else her spirit is what kept this team energized in games.”
The coach singled out Kiernan for what she says was a “rejuvenated” sense of confidence on the court. “While she may not have seen as much playing time as the other seniors, Erin was a dominate force of support, she knew how to connect with her teammates and help pull their focus back to the game when times were challenging,” Ferrari adds.
“Each of these young ladies will be missed and we will rebuild the team honoring the beautiful legacy that they will leave behind. In the 2019 we look forward to having a very strong defense and a young team to develop into high level competitors.”
Team photo, Hunter Coppola photo and Kate Ryan photo copyright Kathleen Seubert. Used by permission.