Volleyball team searches for identity

Brandon Mankoff and Sonia Zaacks, Sports Editor and Features Editor

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Sophomore Erin Rosdahl leaps for a spike which was set by senior Lauren Mendelson in a two-set victory over Deerfield on Sept. 9. Rosdahl has a total of 42 kills in 17 reported games this season as of Sept. 26. Photo by Hope Mailing

The girls volleyball team dominated Stevenson, who finished third in state last year, as they led 24-15 in the first set of the match on Aug. 26 at the Crosstown Classic tournament at Libertyville High School. Glenbrook North needed one more point to secure a win in the first set but ended up conceding 11 consecutive points, ultimately  losing the set and eventually the game.

According to Tiffany Kim, girls volleyball head coach, she would have liked to see her team be more composed when finishing the first set.

“It was the last game of a two-day event.

“I think mentally we were exhausted, [which] led to the loss of the game,” said Kim. “I would [still] like to see the team finish. We can stay with the big teams, but then we can also mentally break down and give teams long runs that hurt us in the end. We are a very young team, so it is expected, but it is nice to know that we can always grow from this.”

Kim said all three seniors who tried out made the team. The rest of the team is composed of six juniors, three sophomores and one freshman who was recently pulled up to assist the team. Senior Lauren Mendelson is the only returning varsity player. As of Sept. 26, the team’s overall record is 7-11 and 1-3 in conference.

Kim said the team is still looking for someone to step up as a leader.

“There’s not one person that [stands] out that is taking leadership, which we really need in our program,” said Kim. “We need someone that will stand out for the whole team.”

Kim said although the team’s leadership and ability to finish close games are some of their weaknesses, they have been able to compete with some of the best teams such as Warren, who they beat in their first game of the season.

During the Warren game, GBN won in two sets with a total of five blocks, which is tied for their second highest this year as of Sept. 26. In addition, they had seven errors and a 98 percent serve percentage, which is tied for their season high as of Sept. 26.

According to senior Maya Slowinski, the game was very heated and demonstrated the team’s true ability.

“[The game] was definitely exciting because that was the first time where we could show what we could do as a team,” Slowinski said.

In addition to playing together on the court, Kim said the team likes to do a variety of bonding activities to build team cohesiveness such as sleepovers, pasta parties and, her favorite, the dating activity she created in which each teammate is partnered up, and they have to go on a date. After the date, the couple goes on a double date with other paired teammates which causes everyone to become closer with one another.

Junior Lexi Elies said she loved this dating activity and was paired with junior Grace Heywood. They went to the Dairy Bar in Glenview, and after the date, the couple went on a double date with junior Sarah Babikian and sophomore Lindy Vargas.

Slowinski said these bonding activities helped her meet people she was not familiar with on the team and also helped build the team’s chemistry.

Moving forward, Kim said she does not know what the rest of the season holds for the team, but is optimistic for future seasons because the team is so young.

“I do see a lot of potential in this group for the next few years,” said Kim. “But again, we are just trying to keep up with the pace and staying with that level, but we do have moments where we obviously are staying with the big teams, so if we can just make that consistent, then who knows what’s going to happen.”

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Volleyball team searches for identity