Seaholm Volleyball Prepares for Playoffs
Using a recipe different from years past, this year’s Volleyball team has found success, and finds itself at the top of the highly competitive OAA Red.
As opposed to last year’s team which included eight seniors, this year’s team has had to rely on receiving contributions from every girl on the team, from senior to sophomore.
“The biggest difference between this year and last year is the diversity of ages,” junior Karen Gallaway said, “the team dynamic was altered with the shift of leadership.”
Senior Lauren McLeod also mentioned changes having to do with the team dynamic, as well as her own role on the squad.
“Personally I’ve had to play a different role on the team.” said McLeod, ”Last year we had a lot of experienced leaders on the court. This year with them having graduated I’m in a position of leadership as one of the captains. I try my best to encourage and motivate my teammates.”
McLeod, who is committed to play at the University of Pennsylvania next year, is joined by fellow seniors Annie Schechter, Kate Carey, and Kristina Astapchyk.
“They’re the heart of our team, the anchors on the team and our captains,” Coach Heather Lippert said about the seniors, “they lead us on and off the court; they do a really great job”
All of the girls mentioned how difficult playing in the OAA Red can be, but welcome the challenge.
“In this league everything is fair game,” junior Amelie Cekauskas added, “every team is extremely talented so it all just depends on who brings it the most on game day.”
McLeod noted the key to competing at such a high level is by getting every girl on the team to contribute.
“Winning doesn’t come down to just the players on the court.” McLeod said, “We have been successful due to a complete team effort including support from the players on the bench along with everybody pushing each other to become better during practices.”
During the first week of October the team defeated both Clarkston, whom the Maples hadn’t beaten in the eight years under Lippert, and Lake Orion, one of the top teams in the area.
“Beating Clarkston and Lake Orion in the same week really just shows us how good we are and how much better we can be and that we can hang with good teams,” Lippert said, “it’s just really exciting, I’m really proud of the girls.”
Lippert couldn’t stress enough the importance of staying on the right path, even after victories against such quality opponents.
“We have a lot of volleyball to play. This is a taste of some big victories that will prepare us for the post season,” Lippert said, “We talk often of being humble and knowing that the matches we won this week are over and that we now must look forward.”
Cekauskas, a 3-year varsity player, has high expectations for this group of girls, and mentioned a feeling of dissatisfaction after last year’s finish.
“We know what it takes to win, and we came so far last year to lose to Mercy, we now feel like there’s some unfinished business,” Cekauskas said, “we’ve never been more motivated to achieve our team goal this year, which is states. This team has a lot of passion and we’re dedicated to getting better each day in the gym.”
“The biggest key is to stay confident and focused,” Gallaway said, “This team is special because we are an extremely positive, driven team with a common goal that we collectively work toward,”
The Maples take on Troy in the first round of the district tournament on November 2. The tournament will be held at Bloomfield Hills High School.