Season Summary 2011-12
A young Western Reserve Academy volleyball team slowly came together during the year, working together to build a unit that finished the 2011 season with a five-match winning streak.
“After losing six seniors (from the 2010 team), we knew from the start that this would be a building year and that we would need much improvement from our returning players to make this season a successful one,” coach Sherry Chlysta said. “The girls had the talent, but didn’t learn to play as a team until midseason.”
Once the team came together, the Pioneers went 7-3 over their final 10 matches, with the season-ending winning streak coming against John Adams, St. Peter Chanel, Beachwood, Hathaway Brown and Andrews Osborne.
Christine Orosz ’13 was named Most Valuable Player.
“Christine spent the summer before her sophomore year getting so strong that I will use her story as the model for summer conditioning for years to come,” Chlysta said. “Early in her sophomore year, Christine worked so hard that her vertical jump was enough to put her hands over the net, and her spike approach and follow through were among the best on the team, so she found herself specializing as an outside hitter.
“Returning for her junior year, Christine was again in shape and attended the summer team camp as well as open gyms throughout the summer. At our first scrimmage, I knew that Christine would be a strong MIP candidate for the season.
“During the season Christine became the only player that never, ever left the court, and improved steadily throughout the season. Christine improved so much, in fact, that she outgrew the MIP award, and stepped into the category of Most Valuable Player.”
Team captain Eleanor McBrier ’12 was named the Most Improved Player.
“Returning as a captain, Ellie knew it was time to get in shape and do her best,” Chlysta said. “She attended the team camp at the University of Akron and her leadership showed through from our first practice together. Throughout this season, things gradually fell into place for Ellie. She moved to the right side of the net and found that she could hit more effectively from there. She learned to block and I will never forget the look of pure joy on her face when she had her first stuff against Hathaway Brown – I think we lost the next point as Ellie and I were still silently celebrating her success.
“During the last few weeks of the season, Ellie mastered her serve, and became a better passer as well, so that by the end of the season, I could leave her on the floor for the entire game and know that she would hustle to make a play.”
The Coaches/Spirit Award was presented to Molly Clark ’13.
“Even before our team camp at the University of Akron, some of our girls were working very hard,” Chlysta said. “They attended open gyms, they strengthened, they ran and they attended speed camps with Dan Gibbons, our head athletic trainer. I heard stories of Molly’s encouragement as the team completed seemingly endless amounts of explosive jumps. Molly kept encouraging everyone to do ‘Just two more!’ but as soon as the two were finished, along came two more and two more, until at long last the task was finished.
“At our University of Akron team camp, Molly was an inspiration to everyone as she fought through an illness, attended practices and worked hard. Her enthusiasm and love of her team, however, outshines even her significant improvement.”
In addition to the award winners, the team was led by Ashleigh Groves ’14 and Miranda Fetterman ’14.
“Ashleigh is the best libero we have had, and Miranda is an extremely talented athlete who has played Junior Olympic volleyball at the national level,” Chlysta said. “These two strong sophomores will be an integral part of the team’s success over the next two years.”
Orosz and Clark were named co-captains for next season.
Head Coach: Sherry Chlysta
Captain: Molly Clark
MVP: Christine M. Orosz
MIP: Eleanor G. McBrier
Coaches/Spirit: Molly Clark