Volleyball gears up for Discovery Invite

Joey Eovaldi, Sports Editor

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Despite a 6-13 start, girls volleyball believes they can turn their season around at the Discovery Invite on Oct. 7 and 8 with more energy and endurance.

“We will have gained a lot of experience and hopefully confidence by the invite,” coach Mallory Thelander said.

Thelander says junior Sam Kaiser will be the main setter by the Invite. Sam’s apart of their impact players along with, offensive star Rosemary Gibbons and defensive stars Patty Duffy and Clara Seibert. But the junior driven team knows they have some work to do if they want to contest winning the Invite, along with showing some promise for this year’s postseason and the next couple of years to come.

The starting lineup is scattered with sophomores, juniors, and then some seniors. As this year’s team has only five seniors, compared to last year’s seven. But, hopefully the five seniors on the team can share their energy and experience with the rest of the team, specifically the underclassman, to help get the whole team ready to compete at a high level by the Invite.

“We just need more time to gain some strength and endurance, along with putting in reps as a team, to help finish off our games stronger,” junior captain Patty Duffy said.

After last year’s loss in this same Discovery Invite, the Kits want to change the outcome this year. But it’s gonna be tough. The Kits will play New Trier in the early stages of the Invite, and the last time they played New Trier, it didn’t end well.

The Kits lost both sets by over 10 points. But the girls think they can put up a better fight against new trier if they have stronger endurance, and more importantly, a positive mindset.

The other team that Evanston could possibly play at the beginning of the invite is Glenbrook North, who hasn’t matched up with Evanston this year. So some new competition could help spice things up and that could be good for Evanston, as they want things to start changing at this point in the season.

“Once we build up our mental strength, we’ll be a really strong team inside and out,” Thelander said.

She thinks the girls will be playing great volleyball by the invite, and if they start to finish their games stronger, they could even be over .500 by the end of the regular season.

One solid senior, Caitlin Sweeney, has played great defensive volleyball behind captain Patty Duffy. Sweeney has showed her experience and energy on the court all year, and the Kits hope that can spread to the rest of the team.

If Duffy & Sweeney can continue to lead the Kits to stellar defensive play, the team can work on improving their sets, strikes, kills, and overall offense to prepare for the postseason. It all starts with playing well at the Discovery Invite and working from there.

The postseason starts just two weeks after the invite, and Evanston looks to start that off with a bang, as they host Regionals. They look forward to seeing a packed house.