The Faith Academy Lady Knight volleyball squad opened its regular season at the end of last week but fell in both matches three sets to one. It was the first action for new coaches Deborah Boudoin (head coach) and Brooke Borden (assistant) after a month of official practice following an extended offseason due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I learned more about this team in the first two matches than almost two months of practices,” Boudoin said. “We have identified what skills we need to develop and what skills need to be refined. I have no doubt that these young, talented players will develop because they have an unmatched work ethic and faith.”
The Faith Academy roster features only one senior (Tyler Johnston) and junior (Maddie Odom) but a host of freshmen who got their first taste of varsity action against Conroe Covenant last Thursday and Shriner St. Paul last Friday.
In the season-opening contest at home last Thursday, the Lady Knights took the first set by a 25-21 score but fell in straight sets after that. Boudoin said the defensive reads were a little slow and some players were caught watching on some plays.
“Even though we are young we maintained a pretty good focus for most of the match,” the head coach said. “It seemed that we were always having to battle back. It takes tremendous energy to catch up, leaving no time to catch our breath and settle in.”
Boudoin was pleased with plenty of the performances including freshmen Ella Polston and Addi Riley as well sophomore Ary Castillo.
“Tyler (Johnston) made some amazing saves and is adjusting to the setter position. She and Maddie (Odom) provided the leadership we needed,” Boudoin said. “Chesney (Johnston) brings an athleticism that few possess; she can cut balls to just about any angle. Reagan (Shepherd) and Alyza (Marcotte), our two middles, are learning quickly. Once they figure out their transition without the ball, they will be a force to recon with. Reagan made some exceptional passes.”
Faith Academy hit the road for its first away game last Friday and once again took the opening set but ultimately fell in four to Shriner St. Paul after Boudoin said not enough offensive plays were finished.
“We played well in stretches but let them go on some mini-runs that made us use a lot of energy in a very hot gym,” the head coach said. “Our passing was OK, but we are not terminating enough kills. We must end plays so that the other team doesn’t just wait for us to make mistakes.”
Boudoin also said that blocking and tip coverage were points that were going to be emphasized in practice but she felt as though the mentality of the squad is still positive.
“Our goals and focus remain the same: Improve every touch, every ball and every play. We strive to be a complete team, thinking and learning the game of volleyball,” she said. “The girls and I welcome the challenge of playing tough, talented teams. We are young and need to experience challenges head-on.”