Volleyball hosts Maine East

Chris Werner, Sports Editor

A fresh start.

That is what the girls volleyball team will be looking for this season after they were bounced in the first round of the IHSA tournament last year by Glenbrook South.

The team will start off their season at home with matches against Maine East this Tuesday at 6 and Lane Tech this Wednesday at 6.

ETHS beat Lane Tech relatively easily in last year’s opener, beating them in straight sets, 25-9 and 25-22. Evanston is looking to use the two first games as confidence boosters for the rest of the season.

“If we can work together as a team, we’re going to be absolutely fine and get off to a great start,” explained Samm Kaiser, junior.

The Kits will welcome Mallory Thelander as the new head coach this year, replacing longtime coach Pam MacPherson. Thelander has been coaching volleyball for seven years and was one of the JV coaches at Loyola last season.

“One of my main focuses for our players is going to be playing with energy and being positive towards their teammates,” explained Thelander, “I think energy plays a very important role in the game of volleyball.”

One of the challenges that the team will face this year is inexperience.

“We will have a lot of underclassmen who haven’t had much varsity experience play this year,” explained Thelander.

It could be hard at the start of the season for some of the newer players to adjust. However the five seniors are more ready than ever to step into a leadership role.

“I expect a little bit more of a leadership position this year, being only one of the five seniors competing for varsity.” Added Caitlin Sweeney, senior.

During the off season the Kits had lots of opportunities to work on their skills in preparation for the season.

“Last year during winter and spring, there were weightlifting sessions in the mornings before school. Through the summer there’s been morning workouts, camps, and we do a summer league against other high schools,” said Sweeney.

After the two home games to start the season the Kits will head to Libertyville for the Libertyville invitational, where ETHS looks to get an early season test.