2 Maine teams excited to be back on the court playing volleyball
Brandon BrownPortsmouth Herald
YORK, Maine – Although one team got the “W” in the record books, both teams left with a victorious feeling.
The Marshwood High School girls volleyball team beat York, 3-1, in a matchup that meant more than just a final score — it was a chance to get back on the court and compete after the traditional fall season was canceled due to COVID-19.
It was the first of a six-game season for the Wildcats, while Marshwood improved to 2-0 on the season.
“Obviously, we didn’t come away with the win,” Bradley said. “But it really isn’t about that this season, it’s more about getting the girls out there playing volleyball. I think they did a great job.”
Marshwood opened its season last week in a 3-0 win over Kennebunk. However, the Hawks, like York, are just happy to be back on the court and playing.
“It was really sad that the season got cut short in the fall,” Marshwood coach Rob Childs said. “I’m just glad that the state of Maine came together and put in this wedge season, so to speak, together for the girls. Because that’s what it’s about, to give them that moment.”
One obstacle of this shortened season is a lot of practice time crammed together in a short period of time, specifically at the season’s outset.
“We’ve had two weeks in the gym to prepare,” Bradley said. “So, it’s really tough to get these girls playing volleyball. We didn’t really think we were going to have a season. We didn’t have any cuts this year. We have 16 girls, and my goal as a coach, especially this strange year, is that I really want to make it a good experience for everyone out here.”
Childs is faced with numerous challenges this season. He is in his initial season as head coach at Marshwood, moving from Pennsylvania.
“A lot of these girls weren’t used to seeing the coaching style nor the plays that we run, or the formation,” Childs said. “Fundamentals were just kind of off from the start, but we had two and a half weeks. We really grinded for those two and a half weeks to get rid of those bugs.”
For York, hearing a season was going to be played came as a surprise to the team.
“The girls were shocked, they really were,” Bradley said. “They were like, ‘Oh my, are you serious’. Everyone was really excited.”
York won the first set Monday, 25-16, but Marshwood bounced back and won the next three, 27-25, 25-13, 25-22.
“We started out rough just like the last game we had,” Childs said. “They get a little nervous when they come on to the court. Once we kind of like get rid of the butterflies, and stop overthinking ourselves, which at this level they do all the time, they just let their athleticism shine through. That’s what you saw tonight. It was just beautiful, and it was fun to watch. They just had a good time.”
“It was a fun match against Marshwood,” Bradley said. “It’s fun to have it be very competitive. We get to see them in the last match of the season, so that will be fun.”
With five games left, York is ready to enjoy the ride, as well as get some of the younger players some experience.
“Some new, young kids on the team,” she said. “I have a freshman, and some sophomores; we’re going to be a really young team next year. So, I’m like we have to give some experience to some of the young kids. And it showed today that it’s great. That’s what I wanted to have happen.”
Members of the York team include Raigen Michniewicz, Meg Bachelder, Nora Pulsifer, Phoebe Slovenski, Tatum Stacy, Grace Frazier, Roe Sophia, Emma Tinnervin, Maddie Morris, Megan Tully, Katrina Kiklis, Gianna Mauro, Tamta Jologua, Maryem Sat, Kayleigh Foss and Chloe Slovenski.
Members of the Marshwood team include Lulu Himmer, Raya Anderson, Madison Fjeld, Mia Tero, Margaret Kovalcin, Elise Echols, Kiley Gordon, Kate England, Vivian Webster, Morgan Chabot, Caitlin Mathieu, Lianne Walker, Abigail Mathieu and Audrey Hammond.