The Bishop Michael Eldon junior and senior girls’ squads made their long-awaited season debut in the GBSSAA Oriel Knowles/Rozena Nesbitt High School Volleyball League recently.
Both teams picked up strong wins on Tuesday, October 29 at the St. George’s Gymnasium to the delight of their faithful fan section.
The junior girls, who are aiming at a repeat as champions, defeated the Sunland Stingers 2-0 (19-12, 19-4). Later that afternoon, the defending senior girls’ champion, in the Warriors, out-lasted the Stingers in a three set thriller, 2-1 (19-15, 11-19, 15-5).
While the senior girls looked to build chemistry on their side with leaders Royjanae Brown and Rhyse Davies anchoring that troop, head coach Cherishe Hollingsworth said, she saw a whole lot of excitement out of her junior team.
“Like I said before the season, we have so much new talent and only about two seasoned players, but everyone stepped up,” Hollingsworth shared. “I had a seventh grader (Sanaa Roberts) out there serve six-straight points and that was exciting for me.
“Anybody can take winning teams and win, but when you have to build a programme from ground zero there’s a lot of pressure to do that. I needed this confidence boost for my first-time players.”
Geneyah Russell was the talk of the second set. Russell scored the last nine of the Warriors’ points in the final set, serving the ball, something that impressed Hollingsworth on the sideline.
“That was unexpected. I know she has that ability, but so many little mistakes had been showing up in practice. She’s my second setter, my first setter is off the island. There was a lot of pressure on her to step into that leadership role, but she embraced it and settled down.”
Continuing on the junior girls’ side of the net, Mary, Star of the Sea Crusaders also made their season debut in a 2-0 victory over the St. Paul’s Saints.
The Crusaders took the first set, 19-15 and followed up that performance with a 19-8 triumph in the second set.
Head Coach Oran McPhee described their first win as a morale booster for his young team. Slow and steady appears to be the approach for the Crusaders, as McPhee expects the girls to grow game-by-game.
“This was a great boost for my girls, practicing whether they were going to play or not. We practiced over the weekends and as we began to practice the momentum built.
“They were a little nervous in the beginning, but they finally pulled through with some good serving.
“Right now, it’s about them getting better. If they can keep getting better one game at a time and continue to focus on what has to be done, it will make this season a whole lot more competitive.
“They can play, it’s just about remaining focused. If we can get better one game at a time, overcome one opponent at a time, we expect to do great things,” he concluded.
Girls’ play continues this afternoon at 3:45 p.m.