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Green girls volleyball team enjoying improved season

9/19/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

GREEN — First-year Green High School girls volleyball head coach Lisa Pafford said the No. 1 aspect of the game her team has been working on improving this season is “communication on the court.”

“It is the key to everything,” the coach said. “We are working on functioning better as a team and working hard on defense. We are hoping to improve on this 4-10 record they have had for [each of] the last three years. And we already have, as we are [7-7].”

Pafford said the quality of Green’s play this season has surprised everyone but themselves.

“Our great team work is shocking some of the better teams in our league by competing at a level they did not expect,” she stated. “Our record of [7-7] is close to the goal we set for ourselves this year.”

The strength of this year’s team, Pafford said, is strong leadership from some of the squad’s returning players.

“I have six seniors: Lauren Rossiter (middle blocker), Hannah Smith (middle blocker), Megan Hohlbaugh (outside hitter), Katie Racco (outside hitter), Heather Daniels (libero) and Autumn Seymour (defensive specialist). These girls are strong leaders and hard workers,” the coach said. “My junior setter, Michelle Daugherty, is a returning player; however, she has a new role as a 5-1 setter. She has a great presence on the court and incredible instincts for the game.”

According to Pafford, Smith’s play as a middle blocker has been the team’s biggest surprise so far this season.

“She has had to make the biggest adjustment,” the coach said. “I had moved her into the middle blocker position this year — one she has never played and the hardest to learn in such a short time — and she has completely risen to the challenge and then some. She has transitioned flawlessly.”

Overall, Pafford said, this year’s team has “a good mix” of returning players and newcomers.

“I have a great group of freshmen coming up,” she said. “I have two freshmen currently on varsity: defensive specialist Myla Lukes and outside hitter Carly Rossiter. They have amazing skills and contribute in a big way to the team.”

Pafford said building the team’s core of young players will be crucial as Green gears up to switch leagues in a few years.

“We will be going to the Federal League in 2015,” she said. “And over the next couple of years, we will be rebuilding with the expectation of being competitive in that league.”

As for the remainder of the current season, Pafford said the team’s goals for this season are “improving everyday as a team in skills, quickness and mentally.”

“I am so proud of how these girls have stepped up this year and shown who they are and what they can achieve together,” she said.

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