Volleyball team starts season 0-2


Alexa Davis

Junior Sara Mengel spikes the ball over opponents from Ellwood City on Sept. 17, 2020.

The Freedom Area High School volleyball team began the season on Sept. 9, 2020, with a home scrimmage against Eden Christian. The final score of the game was 2-0 Eden, with Freedom following closely behind in every set. Their other home game on Sept. 17 was also a loss against Ellwood City but they were faced with many other challenges to make it this far.

This year, the team is led by coaches George Bellinger and Rob Basile. Last year’s senior members, Shyann Komara, Baylee Stewart, Leigha Stewart and Morgan Swab, graduated and left open spots on the team. The 2020 roster consists of seniors Alexis Surrenda, Angel Clinkscales, Madison Lewis, Erin Harp and Emily Ostrowski, juniors Olivia Evans, Sara Mengel, Emily Frashure, Audrey Lawrence, Alexis Rinere and Madison Fessides and sophomore Journey Welling. 

Last year’s team finished with a 2-15 record. Hopefully, this year’s team can improve. According to Evans, “Some players that are standing out this year are Emily Ostrowski, Sara Mengel, Maddy Lewis, and Journey Welling. These girls also played club volleyball with other girls on our team.” Playing club volleyball helped improve the girls’ skill and make the team stronger.

Coronavirus rules and restrictions are other obstacles this season too. There are no fans allowed in the gym at all.

Since we are in a gym, there are only 25 people allowed at a time. Therefore, we cannot practice as a whole team and have split into JV and Varsity practices,” Ostrowski said.

The teams have to break up during practices and cannot play together at all. Also, the junior varsity team is not permitted to watch the Varsity game and vice versa. Even some players cannot stand in the gym during games. When the 25 person limit is reached, those who are not on the court are required to stay out in the hallway. 

One of the biggest parts of playing volleyball is teamwork. If the girls do not work together well, they will not succeed at all. They have to get along and be friends with each other, so they can play together to the best of their abilities. This year, with a global pandemic going on, it can be hard to keep in touch and stay connected with friends. 

Our team is very close and even with Covid restrictions, we are still having fun and making the best of it,” Ostrowski said.

Another key to success is having talented coaches. 

“I feel like our coaches help us to the best of their abilities,” Evans said. 

“Our coaches are new to the program but have done a lot to fit in and develop our team,” Ostrowski added.

It is only their second year working together at Freedom, but the volleyball coaches are helpful and seem to be a great addition to the team. 

Although these are difficult times, the girls’ volleyball team will keep practicing and getting better. There are many challenges right now, but hopefully the team can make the best of these circumstances.