An exciting season for young volleyball girls

Coach Kirstin van den Berg

The 2009 volleyball season was a lot of fun for a lot of girls! (L-R, front) Emily Jacobsen, Raina Ryden. (L-R, second row) Coach Kirstin van den Berg, Hannah Toftey, Trace McQuatters, Alicia Smith, Maya McHugh, Jade Wilson, Sarah Toftey, Krissy Backstrom, Tarin Hanson, Zoey Anderson, Sarah Gonzales, Jazzmin Blackwell. (L-R, back) Sara Carman, Lilly Gruber-Schulz, Alex Slanga, Courtney Clyde, Abby Prom, Claire Sherburne, Maranda Deschampe, Mariah Deschampe, Coach Carrie McHugh, Coach Sherri Deschampe, Coach Sue Prom. (Not pictured: Madison Engelhaupt, Natassja Sheils, Haylie Anderson, Shauna Blake, Jasmine Smith, Wellesley Howard-Larsen, Molly Thomas, Hannah VanderHeiden, Julia Larsen, Ashley Smith). Photo courtesy of the team The 2009 volleyball season was a lot of fun for a lot of girls! (L-R, front) Emily Jacobsen, Raina Ryden. (L-R, second row) Coach Kirstin van den Berg, Hannah Toftey, Trace McQuatters, Alicia Smith, Maya McHugh, Jade Wilson, Sarah Toftey, Krissy Backstrom, Tarin Hanson, Zoey Anderson, Sarah Gonzales, Jazzmin Blackwell. (L-R, back) Sara Carman, Lilly Gruber-Schulz, Alex Slanga, Courtney Clyde, Abby Prom, Claire Sherburne, Maranda Deschampe, Mariah Deschampe, Coach Carrie McHugh, Coach Sherri Deschampe, Coach Sue Prom. (Not pictured: Madison Engelhaupt, Natassja Sheils, Haylie Anderson, Shauna Blake, Jasmine Smith, Wellesley Howard-Larsen, Molly Thomas, Hannah VanderHeiden, Julia Larsen, Ashley Smith). Photo courtesy of the team It was an exciting 2009 season for Cook County girls’ volleyball action, with 31 girls from fourth, fifth and sixth grade participating in the Cook County Community Education volleyball program. While the players worked hard on the core fundamentals of passing the volleyball, setting, serving, serve receiving and spiking, their number one goal was to have fun. With that in mind, these girls came to every practice with smiles, energy and enthusiasm!

It has been fun for the coaches to watch the young volleyball players grow in size and talent. Photo courtesy of the team It has been fun for the coaches to watch the young volleyball players grow in size and talent. Photo courtesy of the team The season began September 7 and ended October 8. The highlight of the season was a trip to Cromwell on Saturday, October 3 to play teams from Albrook, Cromwell and McGregor. Ten teams participated in the Cromwell Jamboree with Cook County bringing four teams to the tournament. The Cook County players saw a lot of action, playing eight games each. For the amount of practice they had, the girls played very well, winning more than half of their games. Theyplayed with skill, determination and good sportsmanship—an excellent combination for volleyball!

The sixth grade team, the Vikettes, played especially well with excellent serving and passing by Alex Slanga (team captain), Sarah Carman and Trace McQuatters. Emily Jacobsen, a fifth grader, and Ashley Smith, a fourth grader who filled in on the sixth grade team, also served very well for first-year players. Courtney Clyde rounded out the sixth grade team with good hustle and teamwork. A great combination, these girls had a terrific day and played very well.

Two fifth grade teams competed at the Cromwell Jamboree. One of the fifth grade teams, the Vikings, was anchored by three strong and experienced volleyball players— Mariah Deschampe (team captain), Maranda Deschampe and Abby Prom (a fourth grader, who is also a first-year player). Their consistent passing and serving paid off and combined with excellent play by Krissy Backstrom, Hannah VanderHeiden and Tarin Hanson (another excellent server) they were a tough team to stop!

The other fifth grade team, the Blue Tigers, was captained by Sarah Toftey.

Another strong team, this group had great chemistry and played especially well together. In addition to strong play by Sarah Toftey, Julia Larsen, Molly Howard, Zoey Anderson, Alicia Smith and Hannah Toftey all made great contributions in both serving and passing the ball.

Cook County made history by bringing for the first time ever a fourth grade team to the Jamboree. Captained by Maya McHugh, the Twilights did an outstanding job for the day, taking on several more experienced teams and playing very well. Team Twilight consisted of Raina Ryden, Jasmine Smith, Jazzmin Blackwell, Wellesley Howard-Larsen, Jade Wilson, Sarah Gonzales and Claire Sherburne.

All in all, the girls had an excellent season and we can expect to see some exciting volleyball action in the future as we watch these players grow in size and talent. Thesixth graders did an excellent job as role models for the younger players and we will miss them as they take their talents and move up to the seventh/ eighth grade volleyball level next year.

A special thank you goes to the parents and families of the players and to coaches Sherri Deschampe, Carrie McHugh and Sue Prom. You did an excellent job and we couldn’t have done it without you!


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