Staples girls volleyball starts season at 3-0
Published 4:06 pm, Thursday, September 23, 2010
Jon Shepro could get used to this.
After serving three years as the JV girls volleyball coach at Staples, Shepro has taken over as the head coach of the varsity squad. So far he has liked what he has seen as the Lady Wreckers take a 3-0 record into a road match against Bridgeport Central at 5:30 p.m. today.
"We've set our goals pretty high this year and so far we're playing really well," Shepro said. "We're improving every game. We've got a great offense. We've got hitters all around and the defense is starting to come around a little bit, so it's starting to look pretty good."
Following his team's 3-1 victory at Danbury on Wednesday, Shepro said one statistic stood out the most: 43 total kills and only 10 errors.
"So that tells me that the setters are doing great," he said. "They're putting the ball where the hitters can hit."
In Staples first game of the season, a 3-2 home victory against Westhill on Sept. 16, Shepro said the Lady Wreckers were bogged down by hitting and passing errors.
Although Staples only has one main link--senior captain outside hitter Alex Masiello--to the team that advanced all the way to the Class LL state semifinals last season, the team features several players who "either participated last year or were ready to participate last year and just didn't get the opportunity."
Those players include senior captain setter Lucy Stanley, senior captain defensive specialist Dana Rappaport and senior defensive specialist Kristen Weiler. Junior middle hitter Joosje Grevers, who leads the team in blocks, and junior setter Anna Link have also impressed Shepro.
Out of the team's 16 players, nine of them were coached by Shepro on the junior varsity squad before receiving a promotion this season, including junior middle hitter Augie Gradoux-Matt and and junior outside hitter Mackenize Roof, who in particular has surprised the coach with how easily she has made the transition to the bigger stage.
Then there's Masiello, who had 16 kills on 31 attempts against Danbury. She's averaging about 15 kills a game, leading the team in that department and in digs as well.
"She's had a great start to the season. She's really been unbelievable," Shepro said of the standout player. "She's got to be one of the best players in the state. She hits the ball harder than any girl I've seen so far consistently and her defense has been excellent as well."
As is the case with most of the athletic programs at Staples, the team will most likely receive its biggest litmus test against Darien at home on Sept. 29. The Blue Wave has won two of the last three Class L state titles.
"That's going to be obviously our biggest challenge," Shepro said.