Girls Varsity Volleyball is the heart of fall athletics at Concord Academy. Competitive, tight-knit, and driven, the team is as motivated as ever to improve. Under the leadership of coaches Darren Emery and Peter Boskey and Co-Captains Madison McCaslin ’23, Isabella Ginsburg ’23, and Claire Carson ’23, the resilient team is proving to be a force in the Eastern Independent League (EIL).

Though the team had a rocky start to the season, their playing ability should not be underestimated. Libero Marisa Beard ’24 noted, “In our previous games where we have lost we've been neck and neck with the other team and just lost by a couple of points. I think we work really hard and though some of our games haven't turned out the best, we've played the best that we have.” 

Devoting 10 hours to practice every week, the team is certainly not lacking in collective work ethic and commitment. Practices typically take the form of warmups, drills, and scrimmages. Madison commented, “Some days we do a mix of drills, including serve receive, hitting, and blocking. On other days we play scrimmage games like Moneyball or Golden Ticket, which mimic a game setting but encourage players to focus on certain aspects of their playing.” Describing the practice atmosphere, Savannah Warrington ’24 stated, “I think it’s a good mix of positive energy and having fun while at the same time working hard.”  

Currently, the team is focused on improving on-court communication. Madison specified, “One of the things we've been working on recently is blocking since that can be a powerful asset against a talented hitter during a game. The best blocks are when the ball drops right back down on the opponent's side, making it nearly impossible to get back into play. This is what we call "hooding it," and we've already gotten so much better at this important skill.” 

Keeping a positive attitude and correcting mistakes will be key as the girls pursue success this season. Middle blocker Maia Monahan ’23 shared, “I think we have such a good attitude this year. Even if we have not had our best games, we’re not letting it destroy our morale or anything. We're all generally pretty positive at this point which I think makes playing with this group so nice because we are able to recognize our mistakes but not get too hung up on them.” Maia later mentioned, “I think as long as we're recognizing our mistakes and learning from them it’s fun, and we're enjoying it.” 

The team has many rituals and unique activities to help them bond both on and off the court. On game day, the team does psyches: the girls come to school dressed in a preplanned theme. Recently, the girls have done Adam Sandler, PJs, and White Lies. They’ve also been working on some cheers that they plan to use in the coming weeks, and have been making some team Tik-Toks. As a special surprise for winning their game against Portsmouth Abbey, Coach Emery bought them special muffins, as he does every year. 

Girls Varsity Volleyball is a group of talented, driven, and diligent individuals, and with the CA community’s full support, the team will continue working into the latter half of their season in pursuit of victory. The team will play their final home game of the season on November 2nd in the SHAC, and looking forward, the team will be hoping to compete in both the EIL and New England Preparatory Athletic Council (NEPSAC) Tournaments in mid-November. The CA community wishes the team the best of luck as they conclude the 2022-2023 competition season!