Whitehall-Coplay Press

Friday, February 28, 2020

Zephs look to improve

Thursday, September 26, 2019 by Steve andres Special to the Press in Sports

The Whitehall girls volleyball team was able to some good things during the first set against Freedom recently, and now it’s a matter of accomplishing more good things on a consistent basis.

The Zephyrs played a spirited game in that first set against a very good Patriots a few weeks ago. After falling behind early, they fought back to knot the score 10-10 with an ace from Taylor Levan. As the game progressed, they also got a big kill from Olivia Ballard to help spark a run that drew them within three points of the visiting Pates, narrowing the margin to 20-17.

They also got some blocks and some big digs, staying competitive throughout the set. They were making plays and keeping pressure on the Pates before succumbing 19-25 to their Eastern Pennsylvania Conference foes who were 4-1 heading into the match.

In the second set they could never find any rhythm and struggled to match the good things they were able to do in the opening set. They wound up losing 25-5.

It was the same story in the third set as they had some good moments, especially late, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the early deficit as the Pates pulled away for the three-set victory.

Head coach Olivia Bobyak said that their match against Freedom where they played really well during stretches, but aren’t able to maintain that consistency, has been a common theme throughout the year.

“We work really hard, but we haven’t built up that consistently yet,” said Bobyak.

The first-year coach said that it’s going to take time to establish that cohesiveness. They have talented pieces in place, it’s just a matter of it all coming together. She also believes that if they concentrate on how they play as a team, that will aid that cohesion.

“All we can control is our side of the net and build on the good things, and take it from there,” said Bobyak.

After last Monday’s loss to Pocono Mountain West to fall to 0-7 on the season, Bobyak said that there’s no looking back. She’s convinced that they’ll get better every day.

“Everything will come together, it just takes time,” she said.

Against Freedom, they had trouble setting up good chances at the net. They were often scrambling to counter Freedom’s service game as the Pates were able to keep the Zephyrs off balance. That impacted their ability to create good opportunities for kills at the net. Bobyak said that they work to duplicate those “playing out-of-system” situations in practice, trying to recreate challenging possessions.

“We do that at practice so that they’re facing uncomfortable situations,” said Bobyak.

The Zephs dropped games to Parkland and Pleasant Valley but did pick up their first win against Eastburg South Monday 25-12, 25-11, 23-25, 25-11.