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MHS Girl’s Volleyball Making Strides

Coming into the 2010 Milford High girls' volleyball season, Head Coach Linda Zacchilli wasn't sure exactly what to expect. Her squad this year is different than many she has had in the past. But much of what she has experienced so far has been a pleasant surprise.
For starters, the Scarlet Hawks had more girls come out for the team than ever before. As a result, Zacchilli kept 19 players on her varsity roster, more than she has ever had. Though the team may feature a number of first year varsity players, it has far more depth than she's had with past teams.
"I knew we'd have strong attackers, but I didn't know how our passing game would be," said Zacchilli. "There are times when you can see the inexperience, but people are filling the void and you see the improvement each match and each practice."
Leading the attack is a pair of juniors, Brittany Hill and Chrissy Fraga. Both players started for the Hawks last season as sophomores. "Brittany is our leading attacker, blocker, and server," said Zacchilli. "Chrissy is one our best back court players defensively."
Milford's two other returning starters are its co-captains, Lisa Vega and Gabby Kondik. Vega, the setter, is the quarterback of the offense. Kondik plays both middle hitter and on the right side. Zacchilli recognizes the leadership abilities of both of her captains. "They are both very vocal, but fair and very well respected by their teammates. They are just a pleasure to coach."
Junior outside hitter Kendall Lindsey and her classmate Molly Barrows round out the Milford starting line-up. The libero is first year senior Michelle DeJesus, who is filling the shoes of graduated all-state libero Andrea Suffrendini. The play of DeJesus may be the biggest surprise on the team so far."I thought (libero) was going to be the toughest position to replace," said Zacchilli. "I wasn't sure how we were going to fill that void. Michelle is a tough server; she can attack from the back court, and is an excellent defensive player."
As with many young teams, consistency has been the biggest challenge for Milford so far. The Hawks began the season 2-2, 1-1 in the Mid Wach. The 10-team tournament Milford hosted last weekend is something Zacchilli hopes will spark a rhythm in a team made up predominantly of players who are experiencing the speed of the varsity game for the first time.
"We are competitive now but we're hot and cold," she said. "We've have games where we have too many unforced errors. But the kids work hard, we have good leadership, and I think over time we will be much more consistent and more competitive.
It's a brand new team but they are starting to bond. They accept constructive criticism well and have great attitudes. It's just a matter of time before we put it all together."




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