As we bump, set, hit into winter, the girls volleyball season has come to an end. The girls varsity team reflected on their improvement and how well they did this season. The team made sure to bring their determination and energy when performing on the court. They did really well this season that it even feels bittersweet for them considering that it’s their last year playing high school volleyball.
Dan Jurkowski, girls varsity volleyball coach, feels a little sad that the girl’s volleyball season has ended and does not want it to be over yet. Jurkowski said “they’re a really fun group to be around.” He makes sure to push the girls to play and be better. He tries to get them to “reach their full potential” and tries to have them be more consistent, saying how it is all about energy and focus; it is something that the team focused on in every game.
Jurkowski would scale the girls a 7 out of 10 on how well they did this season, “we had a very good season but it could’ve been better.” There are certain games where the team can have a hard time on the court, “sometimes we play down to the competition,” which he believes creates bad habits and when you play against good teams it comes out.
Senior Melissa Calixte said that “when the team is all in the right headspace and willing to push for the win, it is possible that the team can beat anybody.”
Though one of the biggest challenges the team had this season was communication and trying to talk to one another, it was important to “just learn to trust the other person,” Senior Stephanie Larrieu said. Larrieu went on to explain that it can sometimes be their downfall when working with one another.
When on the court the girls learned that they should work with one another rather than cause conflict with one another, and to not try to 1 on 6 by themselves. Kelly Le, a junior who plays back row, feels “talking to each other” and not letting “any arguments outside of volleyball affect you playing” is key.
Malden girls volleyball has not won states since 2015. Senior Captain Lissette Curran said ”the fact that we qualified for states shows how much we’ve improved.” She went on to say how the team has been great and had their rocky ups and downs, however they pulled through.
The girls came together and created not just a team but a family, “being a part of a team where the girls are super supportive and have the same love as you feel at home,” Calixte said. She explained how volleyball makes her feel like she belongs in a way somehow and will miss it once she has graduated.
The team has made the best out of their season. They put in such great energy and effort and it shows through their skills and hard work when they play on the court. Though it is some of their last years, Calixte said “there’s nothing like playing high school volleyball,” and even feels that you can play it anywhere because of the high school vibes, “it’s just unmatched.”
The best advice that Jurkowski would give to the freshman team is, “when the season ends don’t stop playing, just keep playing as much as you can,though it may get tough because it gets dark outside but never stop playing.”