Aquila

Aquila

Girls Volleyball takes on toughest rivals in season and State series

Alex Lunak, Contributing Writer

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“Hungry” is one way to describe how the Sandburg Girls varsity volleyball team is feeling after last season’s loss to national champion Mother McAuley. Led by 3 year varsity player Abbie Stefanon and 2 year varsity player Katie Decker, the Eagles planned to move past the sectional round of the playoffs this year and make a run at the state title. They planned on doing this by sticking together and keeping their goal in the back of their mind every game.

After their disappointing Sectional loss to Mcauley, the returning girls of the volleyball team knew it was time to step up and make a serious run at the state playoffs in 2017. Although anything to this team seems achievable, it appears as if all roads are leading to Chicago private schools Marist (16-1) and Mother Mcauley (16-2), ranked 1st and 2nd in state, respectively. These top tier schools are ahead of Sandburg in the standings, along with 14 other teams in the state. The road to the State finals will inevitably be difficult for the Eagles given the circumstances, but the girls believe that it can be done.

Many players on Sandburg (14-6) believed that they have a better shot to make a run this year than any.

“It’s all about believing in the girls in the locker room,” said starter Abbie Stefanon.”You have to believe you can win before you actually do it.”
Stefanon is a very experienced player who said she wants to finish this season as if it’s her last, although she will likely play in college.

“I’ve been receiving interest in schools like Winona State, North Carolina, and Asheville, but I try not to get caught up in the recruiting process” said Stefanon. “It’s important to just play for my teammates now and hopefully by doing that I can continue my volleyball career at the next level.”
Some players, however, think that making a run at the state championship will take more than just believing.

“It’s about executing when it matters most,” said Sandburg starter Katie Decker. “I personally never felt that McAuley was that much better than us, they just executed when they needed to and we didn’t. When you make one too many mistakes against a team like that, you aren’t going to come out with a win.”

She may be justified do to the fact that Mcauley had beaten Sandburg in last year’s sectional match and this year’s non conference match with ease. Perhaps this year, the Eagles faced a more lopsided loss, losing 2 sets by at least 9 points.

No matter what the sport, an important factor in all Eagle events seems to be the fan section. Jack Teschke, a loyal fan and member of the “Superfanz” club at Sandburg said that he and the rest of the student section can truly make an impact on the game.

“I think to a point we can make a heavy impact,” said Teschke. “Being an athlete myself, I just feel that energy of all my friends going crazy in the stands and it can translate to the field. It’s going to be important to support our girls during this year’s playoffs”.

For almost every high school, it seems that the biggest outcomes for fan attendance comes during the varsity football games.
“It’s really cool to see everyone come together at the football games” said Teschke. “When you step back, take a look into the crowd, and see hundreds of students in unison with themes and chants, you know you’ve got something special.”

The team brought home the Regional Championship with a commanding win. However, in the Sectional Semifinal against Marian Catholic High School, they lost in two close sets, 25-21 both times, ending their playoff run.

Despite the season being over, the girls will look back on a successful season and know that their efforts were recognized by their fellow team members, coaches, and loyal fans, all of whom recognize their hard work.

Coach Vales said, “I thought we were in a good position to go pretty far, unfortunately we didn’t play our best.”
This year the team won 14th Regional title.

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Girls Volleyball takes on toughest rivals in season and State series