MARYSVILLE — The Grace Academy girls volleyball team took to the court Oct. 22, defeating Highland Christian 3-0 and raising their league-leading record to 10-1.
Despite having some players sidelined by injuries, the Eagles played very well, according to Head Coach Ashley Fitzmaurice.
“Julianna Bethune, one of my outside hitters, had to play the middle because we had someone get injured at practice the day before. She didn’t get a chance to practice at that position, but she is one of those players that you can throw in anywhere and she performs really well,” said Fitzmaurice. “In addition, our setter Naomi Tuttle performed really well with all of her sets, and our libero, Danica Kline, also had very sharp passing as well.”
While individual team members had strong performances, Fitzmaurice credits her team’s success this year to teamwork.
“I think we play better as a team. We do have some stronger players who stand out, but we really focus on the team effort,” said Fitzmaurice. “We don’t want our setter to be setting the ball to the same person over and over again. We’re trying to develop everybody.”
In addition to teamwork, Fitzmaurice said fundamentals and hard work are important to the Eagles’ success this year.
“We also focus hard on the fundamentals, which helps set us apart from the other teams,” said Fitzmaurice. “Also, all the girls are really dedicated to wanting to improve, and work hard at becoming better players and better teammates. All the girls have worked really hard, which is reflected in our win-loss record.”
The Eagles have two games remaining in the regular season, a league game against Skykomish on Oct. 25, and a non-league match against Shoreline Christian on Oct. 28.
“Skykomish is the final league game, and we’ll be trying new and more advanced offensive plays,” said Fitzmaurice. “That will help us develop a little more offensively in preparation for District and Tri-District.”
Fitzmaurice added that she plans to use the Shoreline Christian game to work on offensive plays and defense to see how players are filling in for their injured teammates.
“Now that we’re down a couple of players, there is going to be a lot of moving around of players to help us figure out what is best for us in the post-season” said Fitzmaurice. “The team we have, all the girls are stepping up to help each other and fill in for those spots. We’ll head into the post-season knowing that we have prepared the best we can to go out there and win.”