By Wendell Maxey, King Sports Information and Social Media Liaison
As the 2020-21 school year officially gets underway at King School, Viking student-athletes have already been hard at work on campus with Fall preseason training and skills development sessions taking place for Crew, Cross Country, Football, Field Hockey, Girls Soccer, Boys Soccer, and Beach Volleyball.
Led by our dedicated and passionate King coaches, each program will continue to offer competitive and skill-based training opportunities, a challenging and engaging atmosphere, while also supporting the physical, mental, and social-emotional health of our students.
After capturing their 5th-straight NEPSAC Championship last November, King Volleyball returns this Fall with a new look squad and a softer surface to play on as Head Coach Tung Tran and the Vikings take their talents to the sand at the Italian Center for some Beach Volleyball and the chance to hone their skills...
Coaches: Tung Tran (Head Coach), Stephanie Roones (Assistant Coach), Laurie Schelz (Assistant Coach), Shannel Lewis (Assistant Coach)
Team Captains: Sophie Pigott, Norah Shattan, Nicole Salantay
Returning Varsity Players: Madison Barry, Sarah DiModica, Crista Gerard, Nadiezhda Kucher, Marina Malin, Sophie Pigott, Karina Rao, Nicole Salantay, Norah Shattan
Players: Ashley Flynn, Ava Frascarelli, Carolina Frisoli, Nily Genger, Hannah Greene, Nicole Guido, Catherine Harvey, Olivia King, Antonia Kolb, Mia Lynn, Delaney Marsh, Alexandra Oxenstierna, Kyara Scialpi, Lily Stoltz, Ellie Wayland, Alexandra Weinstein, Madeline Beck, Isabella White, Emily Alexander, Rachel Oberst, Mariana McOsker, Nicole Barrera, Tess Fredette
One-on-One with King Volleyball Head Coach, Tung Tran
What are some of your reflections about last season: The Girls last year showed tremendous growth, both as individuals and as a team. We made it to our 6th consecutive FAA Finals, losing in the Finals for the first time in 6 years, but we faced a very strong and well coached Hopkins team (who has had us in their scope for years). We finished the season by winning our 5th consecutive New England title, which was a great way to finish off the season. All in all, a very successful campaign and I couldn't be more proud of their efforts.
What are you looking forward to the most about this Fall season: I look forward to seeing the girls back in action and just getting back to some kind of routine. I am excited to see further development and growth from the returning Girls. Even though our season has been canceled (and the Upper School gym converted into classrooms) we are making the best of a not so ideal situation. We are fortunate that we are able to make use of the sand courts at the Italian Center and able to offer Beach Volleyball this season. Out of the norm, but volleyball is volleyball. Playing 2-on-2 Beach Volleyball is actually one of the best ways to hone in on "all" of your skills, through repetition, touches, and just pure court awareness.
What's the biggest message you want your team to come away with this preseason and through skills training sessions: I told the Girls on day one, that this season is not about external competition, but moreso about development and having fun with the game. Rather than doing a lot of X's and O's, we are just going to be playing a lot. We are going to make the best out of a very bad pandemic situation.
One word to describe what it means to be back on campus working with student athletes at King: Eager!
Team Captains Spotlight: Sophie Pigott, Norah Shattan, Nicole Salantay
What are your thoughts about playing beach volleyball this Fall: This Fall I'm very excited that we have been given the chance to keep practicing volleyball despite COVID-19. I have no doubt we will adapt and excel in this new environment of playing. Although different from indoor 6-on6, Beach Volleyball offers lots of new learning and growth opportunities. Beach Volleyball is centered around ball control and communication, skills that will not only improve our outdoor game but help us reach that next level of play when we hit the courts next season! -- Norah Shattan
What has been your focus to start preseason workouts and training: Sadly, this year both of our leagues have been cancelled with the FAA and NEPSAC. During a normal season, we focus our training on developing good team chemistry and getting in shape for upcoming games. This season, however, our drills have taken more of a focus on our technical skills. We are reviewing fundamental skills, from passing and serving to really narrowing down on ball control for next year. I think we are all just excited to get back on the courts and have fun! -- Sophie Pigott
As a team captain, what are you looking forward to the most about getting back to campus and bringing the team together: As a Captain, I am most excited to get back to campus to bond with the new and the returning players. This season will be a challenge with all of the new regulations in place but the Girls we have this year are tackling it with ease. Every day, they come to practice eager to learn and to get better, which is all I could ever hope for as a Captain. It is very exciting to be a part of a team that has a relentless love for volleyball and wants to push through the restrictions in place. The Captains and I are able to bring the Girls together by occasionally switching up the teams and getting to know each other and play with each other. I can't wait to see what the rest of the season holds for us! -- Nicole Salantay