PORTSMOUTH – It may be early in the season, but the 2019 Notre Dame Titans volleyball team is clicking on all cylinders.
With a three set win (25-9, 25-9, 25-18) over SOC foe Symmes Valley in Portsmouth Tuesday, the Titans improved to 4-1 (3-0 in SOC play) with a stretch of games that favor the Titans over the course of the next few weeks.
“I liked that we didn’t relax early on,” said first year coach Cassidy Roney. “In our few first games, I’ve noticed that when we get up a lot, sometimes we like to relax. Today we kept hitting well and our blocks today were much improved over where we started.”
Leading the Titans statistically in Tuesday’s win was junior Claire Dettwiller who had a team high 12 kills, senior Joyce Zheng who had a team high six service aces, senior Olivia Smith and junior Chloe Delabar who each had an assisted block, senior Sophia Hassel who had a team high nine digs, and senior setter Cassie Schaefer who had a team high 29 assists.
Dettwiller’s role from last year to this has changed dramatically from being a rotational player on a regional final team to being the top hitter on a poised team with a ton of potential, and with that role change has come Dettwiller’s improved play.
“Claire has improved even a lot from our first game,” Roney said of her junior hitter. “That was just two weeks ago. She’s improving every day and her hits keep getting better.”
Being a first year coach means joining a team that has prior relationships already built in. Roney was hired for the Notre Dame job after former coach Kelsey Glockner stepped away from the post prior to the start of the season.
With a senior laden team such as the one Roney has adopted, Roney’s first year has been a smooth transition with the help of her team being so accepting in her first season.
“It was nice to come in and have such a large group of seniors,” Roney said. “They’re all in such a routine where they’ve all played with each other for so long. We spent a lot of time together preseason where we would have team nights to bond as a team. I’ve gotten close with a really great group of girls.”
Notre Dame continues their march towards a potential outright SOC I title with a game Wednesday against Eastern and Thursday against SOC I opponent Ironton St. Joe. For Roney, an area of emphasis as her team continues their hot start will be their improvement in blocking the ball at the net.
“Our number one thing we’re going to be focusing on is blocking,” Roney said. “And our passing, serve-receive, being able to stay low on our passes and getting our passes on target. But our girls keep improving everyday and we’re looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved