Serving the competition

Volleyball team looks forward to a promising season


As fall rolls around, school starts back up and sports begin once again. Excitement builds when players of all sports get to showcase their abilities refined over the summer months. All of the work put in finally gets put to use when players hit the court and take down their opponents. The volleyball team looks to make vital changes to recover from the loss of nine valuable seniors. Not all hope is lost for the Bulldogs, as new seniors step up to fill the gaps left by their predecessors. Janey Parks, Ana Shipman, Journey Welling, Rachel Campbell, Sydney Beringer and Leyasa Young take on the responsibilities of giving the underclassmen of the team positive role models and guidance to help them reach their full potential. 

Seniors lead, guide and mentor underclassmen in more ways than one. 

“The role of a senior is to lead and to teach the younger classes how to take over the team for when they’re gone,” Welling said. “In my final year, I want to make the team a lot stronger, build more bonds and make the game better at Freedom.” Welling is the one of only returning varsity players on the team this year. This caused a minor setback for the team as many younger players are not yet adjusted to the fast-paced playing style of the varsity. 

“The quicker they can develop, learn and adjust to the quickness of the game, the better we’ll be,” coach George Bellinger said.

The team is already in tune with many of the aspects of the game. One of the team’s biggest strengths is its serving. During the tough 3-0 loss to Quaker Valley at the Bulldogs’ first home game on Sept. 7, the Bulldogs worked together to score many points through serving.  One new addition to the team is the addition of team captains. Varsity captains are Parks, Welling and junior Cassidy Harris. A crucial aspect of the team’s success is the team’s ability to work together. Collaboration is a necessary element of any team sport, which brews positivity both on and off the court. The team both celebrates and reassures teammates after every point.

“The [volleyball team’s chemistry] is really good. I mean, we all get along pretty well,” sophomore Annabelle Komlos said.

It’s easy to get along with teammates when everything is going smoothly, but a truly connected team can stick together at its worst.

“No matter what happens in the game you have to be able to ignore it, let it go, learn from your mistakes and do better from them,” Welling said.

With several games under the team’s belt, they can correct any flaws that they find. This will leave the team in great shape to face off against difficult opponents they may face further on in the season. Coach Bellinger recognized some of these must-see matchups as games against cross-town rival New Brighton and games against other skilled opponents such as Avonworth and Hopewell. No matter the outcome, the season will be full of lasting memories.