By: Simone Dunbar — Managing Editor
Last week marked a great start to Sharon Volleyball’s “Dubtober” (Winning October). Sharon took home their first wins of the season last week against Taunton and Stoughton, improving their record to 2 – 8.
It was extremely uplifting to see Sharon’s potential as a team, says junior Tess Letendre. “Winning both the Stoughton and Taunton games were huge for us!” she said.
In the winning games, the team focused on communicating, staying energetic, and moving past mistakes. Letendre says it showed them how they can play as a team.
Junior Olivia Nau says that she enjoys volleyball no matter the outcome but still loves a good win. “It was definitely very exciting to finally get some wins under our belt,” she said.
Nau emphasized that Sharon has focused on staying positive throughout games, playing up to stronger teams, and not playing down to weaker ones which contributed greatly to the wins of the week.
“Every victory feels like a huge one,” said junior Amanda Brown.
Brown comments on the importance of the team setting goals, explaining the joy felt after achieving them.
“Volleyball is a sport that is only fun if you and your team bring the energy. You have to be loud and proud after every play, point, and huddle,” Brown explained. She says that the energy level during the Taunton and Stoughton games was the best it had been all season.
Sophomore Sonja Gray says that Sharon played more consistently as a team and the opponents made more errors than usual.
Unfortunately, the team experienced a devastating loss in senior Libero Emily Rubenstein due to a potentially season-ending injury. Rubenstein suffered a minor concussion and bloody nose after getting caught in the middle of her teammates during a high-action play at Stoughton.
Rubenstein was taken out during the first set and remained out for the rest of the game, causing Sharon to scramble in finding a replacement. Ultimately, freshman Sasha Nierenberg stepped up to take her place and crushed it in their libero debut.
Rubenstein is unsure as to whether she will be able to play for the remainder of her senior season. She says it depends on whether the screenings of her nose show that it is broken. Fingers are crossed for the return of Sharon’s star player.
Letendre is upset at the loss of Rubenstein. “I feel so bad she’s not going to play her whole last season in volleyball,” she said.
“I do think the season will be affected but, as was shown in the Stoughton game, we are able to continue to play through the mishap and separate it from the game,” said Letendre. She says it will be difficult to fill Rubenstein’s shoes, but if everyone works hard they can overcome.
Nau says that while the anchor of the back row is definitely lost, she is confident that the other defensive specialists will be up for the challenge. “It will be good practice for next year when we no longer have Rubenstein. While we may lose some more points here and there to great hitters, so far our stand-in libero Emily Coplan has done a phenomenal job of keeping the back row very solid,” said Nau.
Although Sharon is a very defensively focused team, Nau says that they will be able to continue on this successful path.
Gray says it will be interesting to see how they play without Rubenstein. “This year is definitely a growth year for Sharon, so despite our wins and losses I am looking forward to improving with every game,” they said.
“Emily is such an amazing player, and when she is on the court you will never see a ball drop on the ground. It is very heartbreaking to lose an amazing senior libero who uplifts our team and makes it possible to have great plays,” said Brown.
Brown says that every game Sharon wins is for Emily.
“We all help each other to play to our full potential, and I’m so excited to see where the rest of our season takes us,” said Letendre.
Sharon will face Franklin and North Attleboro in a hopeful week six!