By Chris Villani Sports Reporter/Columnist · December 07, 2016
Milford Volleyball Earns MIAA Sportsmanship
The Milford High School girls' volleyball team lived up to its motto, 'One Team,' and the MIAA recognized the commitment to unity and teamwork by awarding MHS the Division 2 sportsmanship award.
"It's really something to be proud of, I was happy for the kids and I do believe it was well deserved," head coach Linda Zacchilli said. "This group of girls were phenomenal. I could have given every one of them the sportsmanship award at the end of the year, they were all about the team."
The Scarlet Hawks came together as the season progressed, Zacchilli said, and early on MHS did not seem to fully embody the words emblazoned on their warm ups.
"We had a couple of sit downs at the beginning of the season and I said 'if that's what you want to be known for, one team, you have to live up to that motto," Zacchilli said. "As the year went on, every kid from the freshmen right up through the varsity, they felt like an important part of the program."
Zacchilli said the motto served as a continuous reminder throughout the season to respect every player in the program and respect opponents as well.
"If one player wasn't playing well, others would rise to the occasion," the coach said. "It was never a competition between you and your teammates as to who out does who, it's just about competing as a team.
"As the season went on, the kids got the message and I didn't have to remind them," Zacchilli added. "They had each other's back as one team."
Zacchilli described the team coming together as a work in progress. In her first year back on the sidelines after a four-year absence from the program, she had to get to know her new charges and they learned her style as well.
"It was a big teaching and learning experience for all of us, myself included," Zacchilli said. "We all had to be on the same page."