Girls Volleyball: Deerfield looking to rise up as season unfolds
Updated: October 1, 2012 3:57PM
Whether it’s basketball or volleyball, there’s one thing that’s irreplaceable: height.
Arguably that’s even more of a deciding factor in volleyball. Suffice it to say, with Deerfield’s tallest player standing just 5-foot-10, the 2012 season is going to be a work in progress.
“It’s going to be a process,” said first-year coach Eugene Chung, the team’s interim coach at the end of last season. “It might not translate to a lot of wins (this year), but they’ll learn a lot.”
That formula worked well for Chung with the Warriors boys team. It took a little time, but Deerfield has reached the regional championship game each of the last five seasons, with a regional championship and a Central Suburban League North title to boot.
The girls team is coming off an 8-22 campaign (4-6 with Chung) and a 3-7 conference mark. Critical to the maturation of the program will be the lower levels, and the Warriors appear to be headed in the right direction.
“We had 32 freshmen show up,” Chung said. “That’s exciting for what the future holds.”
Although short in stature, Deerfield has plenty of quickness, good defensive ability and a strong service game.
“We’re going to have to trust our defense and serving,” Chung said. “Those are the two areas we’ll work on the most.”
Offensively, the Warriors will be led by senior outside hitter Meg Ackerson.
“Meg has good ball control,” Chung said. “She has a tough serve, and she brings leadership and energy to the team.”
One asset for Chung will be the team’s depth. Senior Lindy Gill and junior Susana Deschamps will support Ackerson on the outside. Deerfield runs a 6-2 offense, with setters, senior Brittany Molinari and junior Christianna Goldman. Molinari missed all of last season with a back injury and concussion, while this is Goldman’s first year on varsity.
Front-line defense will be in the hands of middle blockers junior Allison Manella and senior Ellen Kenik. The defensive specialists are Lindy Gill, a senior, and junior Phoebe Block, while junior Maddy Otto will handle the ever-important libero position.
“We’re going to grow this program,” Chung said. “The players will feel that they’ve contributed to the future legacy.”
Recap: Deerfield began the 2012 season at the highly competitive Metea Valley Tournament, in Aurora, on Saturday. The Warriors faced a series of much taller opponents, and lost five contests.
There were some bright spots, however, including a narrow loss to a strong Glenbard West team. Deerfield held a 14-13 final-game lead, but fell 16-14.
Ackerson led the offensive attack with 21 kills in the tourney, followed by Deschamps (12), while Gill put the ball down 11 times. Otto contributed 54 digs and five aces. Molinari dished out 25 assists and used a difficult serve to garner eight aces.
On the schedule: After Tuesday’s road trip to Lakes, Deerfield doesn’t play again until its home opener against Evanston on Sept. 6.~