Varsity volleyball strives to win state championship

Gray Jones, staff writer

This year’s varsity volleyball team is off to an excellent start with a record of 9-0 at print time. The players hope for an undefeated season and to ultimately make it to the state championship. The team has a large support system, including coaches and captains, helping it succeed throughout the season.

“As one of the team captains, I have to be a positive role model and also a supporter for my team and help define the culture we want for our team,” senior Morgahn Fingall said.

Fingall and her co-captain, senior Celie Feighery, who are both already committed to college, play a significant role in the success of the team. It is their job to lead the team and make sure everyone is working together.

“The volleyball team is winning states, no question,” senior Ridge Wagner, whose twin sister Brooke is on the varsity team, said.

Many of the players’ family members and friends attend their games to support the team and hype up the athletes.

“I think the hypesquad makes the team want to make a big play because they know we’ll go crazy,” Wagner said. “It keeps them focused when people are cheering for them.”

Varsity senior powerhouses help bring the team to sweet victory, helping to increase the likelihood of the team’s success this year. Players are winning off the court as well, with four seniors who have already made commitments to play volleyball in college not only because of their athletic talent, but also their passion to learn.

“I was very fortunate to be recruited to play for the United States Naval Academy,” senior and captain Celie Feighery said. “It allows me to play the sport I love while learning to become a naval officer and serve our country.”

The volleyball players don’t just rely on skill to win the games. Connection and friendship are both aspects that have strengthened the team and encouraged the players to grow closer. The team’s ability to come together both on and off the court has morphed it into a better team in the long run. Special traditions have brought the girls closer together and help them form connections. For every away game, the players bring gifts to their “secret pal” including candy, snacks and other goodies.

“Our closeness as a team helps us a lot,” varsity coach Charles Ezigbo, who has been the volleyball coach for 18 years, said.

The team pumps itself up before every game by listening to music and dancing, and players run up and down the halls of the school to warm up and get excited.

“We like to do our dynamics outside in the gym lobby, then sprint, jump and slap the wall at the end of the hallway,” sophomore Karis Park said. “We also like to dance to our favorite songs that get us hype and ready for our game.”

The team succeeds because of the players’ outstanding leadership skills. The captains work to make sure everyone is getting along and focusing on the court.

“On the court, I feel I am the one who needs to make sure everyone is working cohesively on the team,” Feighery said. “Off the court, I try to be a role model for the newer players, communicate with the coach and work to keep the team organized.”

The team recently competed in the NVVA Invitational Tournament, placing first by beating Woodson in the championship game.

“Winning the tournament helped us realize how much potential we have for the season,” Fingall said.

Students are encouraged to come support the team as it strives to go all the way.

“They have the best team talent-wise,” Wagner said. “If they stay together, they will continue to destroy teams all the way to the state championship.”

The supportive culture of the team helps players improve and maintain positive attitudes.

“I think we have what it takes to make it to states,” assistant coach Stephanie Basl said. “It’s a matter of staying focused all the way through the season.”

Stephanie Der
The seniors on varsity volleyball pose for a picture during the preseason.
Stephanie Der
Chantilly students show their support for the volleyball team, coming to many games throughout the season.