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Kentridge gets charged for volleyball season
After a brief pep talk with their coach, the Kentridge girls volleyball players take up their positions on the court. The goal is to maintain a rally for 10 minutes. The ball can drop six times before the clock restarts.
0:00 - The clock starts, and immediately the girls are shouting and calling shots. They move quickly, frantically passing, setting and spiking to keep the ball in the air. It's part of coach Liz Quitiquit's training regimen to help the girls think on their feet. "I like to frustrate them, make them figure things out by themselves, since I'm not going to be there on the court to solve problems," Quitiquit said.
This will be Quitiquit's seventh year with the team. Before coaching, she played in high school as well as at Western Washington University in Bellingham.
Her practices have focused largely on getting the new players, which make up half of the 12-member team, up to speed. While she feels her team is technically proficient with a strong defense, she thinks they still need to develop a finishing move to score points.
"I'm a very competitive person so all of our drills are scored and I try and create a competitive environment."
2:38 - Mae Thungc shouts encouragement to her teammates as she sets the ball over the net.
Thungc, a Junior, has become the team's de facto leader, said Quitiquit. Playing volleyball since third grade, Thungc says she has hesitant confidence about the team's ability, hoping they can get the new half of the team up to speed. The varsity team's retreat over the weekend helped them click together personally, but she says that those connections have yet to manifest on the court.
5:23 - Setter Lexi Nguyen dives to make a pass to her teammates, she makes the bump but stumbles head over heels and goes into roll to get back on her feet.
Nguyen, who Quitiquit describes as a "jack of all trades" on the court, said that the retreat helped bring the girls closer. She still agrees with Thungc, saying that it's taking time to get everyone on the same page.
"Half our team is new, so we need to get chemistry going," she said. "We have the skill to do it, we just have to put the components together to finish the drill."
7:05 - Nguyen sends a bump to Melanie Dillon, who sends the ball high into the air to be spiked by Chantelle Williams.
Chantelle Williams and Dillon are two other players to watch, Quitiquit said. Williams for her power hits and Dillon for her setting and spiking abilities. While the coach believes the team has a strong defensive game, she said they need to improve on their offense and develop a "terminator" approach to scoring points.
Despite losses in both of their season opener games, Quitiquit says that her girls have been performing well. "There are a couple strong teams at the top but hope we'll be able to give them a run for their money."
9:34 - The last ball hits the floor.