Volleyball’s success in first home games

Each volleyball team starts their seasons with a win

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The Oak Park High School girls’ volleyball teams played their first home games of the season against Saint Bonaventure High School Aug. 16.

In the 2017 season, the varsity team had a record of 19 wins and 11 losses.

As of Aug. 20, the varsity and junior varsity’s records are 2-1 and the freshman-sophomore team’s record is 1-3, all with a win for their first home games of the season.

“The expectations are really high because the varsity team has won league the last two years,” varsity member and junior Lauren Battin said.

The girls’ volleyball program consists of the varsity, junior varsity and frosh-soph teams. All the teams began their seasons Aug. 13 and had their second game the following day. Even though wins and losses are not always consistent, their first game at the “Birdcage” saw wins for each team.

The aftermath of having all teams win their games was “good energy and vibes,” and “everyone was so happy,” according to frosh-soph team member and freshman Sophia Lippel.

The varsity coaches for this season are head coach Kendall Billbruck and assistant coach Eric Varney, an alumnus who used to play on the Oak Park boys’ volleyball team. The varsity team trains during the sixth period block, as well as at 8 a.m.on Saturday mornings.

The coaches are said to be “hard on [the team] in practice and games,” but, according to Battin, the players recognize that “it helps the team to play to [their] fullest potential.”

Battin said the team is constantly conditioning and practicing in order to be successful throughout their season. As well as practicing with the team, all twelve players have played or currently play on a club team.

The teams, along with practicing and playing with each other throughout the week, spend time with one another off of the court.

“Our team runs on energy, so when we are loud and excited to play with each other, we play our best,” Battin said. “The whole program is very close. We have a lot of team bonding with all the teams together so it isn’t exclusive at all. We have a little sister/ big sister system so each girl has a “sister” to be friends with [on another team], and the varsity team is really close with each other, too.”

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