North Volleyball Sets up for a Big Season

Julia Moore, North Staff Writer

The North Varsity volleyball team finished their regular season with an exciting 3-0 win over Bishop Kelly, and they plan to compete at Regionals on Oct. 11 and the State Tournament on Oct. 17 and 18 in Mustang.  

Paula Barros is the new Varsity coach this season, and she has employed many new techniques to help improve the team.

“As a new coach here at Edmond North, one of my goals was to get to know the girls and gain their trust along with making sure they were working hard and having fun,” Barros said.

Barros has the team focus on their serve and receive, as well as playing smart by placing balls on the right spots. They have also been working on being consistent with their plays and maximizing their energy out on the floor.

“Our biggest focus is keeping the ball off the floor on our side, and we do a great job due to the athleticism of the girls,” Barros said.

The Varsity team has a smaller line-up this year, and according to Barros, this has made the girls work extra hard and has led to improvements individually and as a team.

Senior Emily Romero plays right hitter, and this is her third year on Varsity. Her goal for this season is to win State for the second year in a row. In Romero’s eyes, the biggest game of the season is against Memorial due to the hard competition they bring.

Varsity prepares for their big games by watching videos of the team they will be playing and adjusting their plays and strategies accordingly. Romero believes having a new coach has helped because she has gotten the team into shape with new conditioning drills including running miles and doing 100 yard sprints.

“Without Coach Barros, we would be struggling right now,” Romero said. She greatly appreciates Barros’ emphasis on getting into shape.

Junior Ashlin Ambrose plays middle blocker and has accomplished her goal of being on the Varsity team this year. She wishes to stand out among the experienced Varsity players, as well as set a good example for the underclassmen. Ambrose believes Santa Fe is North’s biggest rival because many of the players know each other, and some are even former club volleyball teammates.

“Whenever we play them, it is always a great game to watch,” Ambrose said.

Ambrose claims that the addition of a new coach has improved the team because the girls have a good relationship with her, and she has made a great environment to improve in.

According to Ambrose, her team has been viewed as the underdogs due to the lack of tall players and seniors, as well as the fact that many of the players have recently gone through injuries. Due to their small numbers, many of the girls have even had to play new positions on the court; however, Ambrose believes her team has what it takes to go far this season.

“Even though we have had a rough start, we continue to impress everyone and plan to be at State,” Ambrose said. “Don’t count us out!”

Despite the addition of a new coach and the shortage of girls, the team believes they are in a much better position this year to accomplish their goals.