By: Emily Mao — School News Editor
After being postponed from the fall season to the fall 2 season, Sharon volleyball has begun. With many changes to their season because of Covid-19, the varsity team is working extremely hard to make the best out of their shortened season.
Senior captains Brynne Aidlin-Perlman and Yvette Nau are leading their team of 12, spanning all four grades. Their coaches, Andrea Lovett and Bill Schustek, are also doing an amazing job coaching this amazing team.
This year, their season has been shortened to 10 games where they play two games per week against the same team to minimize contact. Freshman and junior varsity games have also been limited to an hour of playing time, and they are also not allowed to stay for the varsity game like in the past. Currently, their next three games are postponed due to a positive case on the team. The rest of the team was contact traced.
This year’s varsity team highlights high-scoring offensive players. Along with the two captains, seniors Sara Fandel and Leah Fandel have helped the team stay aggressive at the net. “With myself and Sara as outside hitters, Yvette setting and hitting right side, and Leah playing middle after returning from an injury, we have helped lead our team to our wins,” said Aidlin-Perlman.
Their current record is 5-2, and they recently defeated Canton’s varsity team for the first time since 2002. “This season’s varsity volleyball team is one of the strongest Sharon has ever had. Although Sharon volleyball has always had talented players, our cohesive playing on the court and our consistency this year is why we have been able to win more of our games than previous varsity teams,” said Aidlin-Perlman.
Additionally, with some of the Covid restrictions, the team’s flexibility has also been an advantage. “We also have a lot of players who are able to seamlessly transition between different positions, which has been great because we’ve had a few players contact traced and they weren’t able to play in a game or two,” said Nau.
Other strengths of the team are their consistency and team camaraderie. With strong servers behind the serving line, the team reduces self-inflicted mistakes and can also have another way to rack up points. “The last main strength is that players stay consistently involved in the game, whether they’re on the court or on the sideline—it brings a greater feeling of unity during our game,” said Nau.
Although the team has not gotten as much time to bond as in previous years, they are hopeful that the spring weather will allow them to host more outdoor events. Aidlin-Perlman says that “now that the weather is nicer, we are hoping to have a few socially distanced, outdoor celebrations in addition to an outdoor banquet to continue as many volleyball traditions as possible.”
While the small team this year has created a more tight-knit community and allowed for more productive practices, it has also hurt them during close matches. Both Aidlin-Perlman and Nau say that the team can improve their mental toughness when going to five sets. “Since we have a lot of players who rarely come off of the court, they can get tired and aren’t able to jump as high or hit as hard,” said Nau.
Aidlin-Perlman corroborates her sentiment by saying, “Something I think we could work on is continuing to push during games instead of losing some of our energy so that we can beat teams in three sets. As much as I love volleyball, going to five sets can be exhausting!”
Despite these challenges, the team has done an amazing job representing Sharon High School, and they are optimistic about the rest of their season. With recent news that the top four teams from the Kelley-Rex and Davenport divisions in the Hockomock will be able to play each other, the team is excited to come out strong for the rest of their games. “I’m very optimistic about the coming weeks, and I think we will come out very strong against North Attleboro,” said Nau.