Staples High School Girls Volleyball By: Emma Van Riper

The Staples High School Volleyball Team is a well-acknowledged program that creates many new amazing volleyball players every year.

Jon Shepro lead the Varsity team to FCIACS and States this year. The JV coach Dan Cho is the boy's Varsity coach as well. Also, the Freshman Coach Kelly Zrenda’s first time head coaching was this year at Staples.

The freshman team was undefeated this season, which was a major accomplishment for them.

“I think the biggest reason why the team was able to be undefeated this season was because of the team’s chemistry. My team was naturally athletic, and all got along really well which helped contribute to the team’s success” Coach Zrenda said.

Because volleyball is a fall sport, the freshman girls’ first time playing on a high school level sports team was in their volleyball season.

“It is really hard to play a high school level sport for the first time, but I think that the girls handled it pretty well. They were able to make mistakes and learn from them which benefitted us throughout the season” Coach Zrenda said.

The team played a total of 13 games, and won every one of them. The team lost a few sets within each game, but they ended the season being undefeated.

“Definitely during the Westhill game I thought we had a good chance of losing. That game made me extremely nervous,” Coach Zrenda said.

Teamwork is such a huge aspect in winning. Coach Zrenda thought her players were great teammates to each other, and valued each other’s opinions.

“The fact that everyone on the team got along made it easier since they would play not just to win for themselves, but for their teammates as well.”

This was not only the coach’s first year being a head coach, but her first year coaching at Staples. She said she plans on returning to coach the incoming freshman next year “as long as nothing changes.”

Allie D’Angelo '20, a setter on the freshman team, was interviewed about the team's undefeated season. “A few people already had a lot of practice but we generally started with the same base of fundamentals," D'Angelo said. A few girls on the team had already been playing for a few years prior to the tryouts in August. However, other girls played for their first time at tryouts and successfully made the team.

Volleyball is a pretty popular sport at Staples High School. Roughly 35 girls tried out for the freshman team, and 18 made it. Considering the fact that only six people are on the court at a time, that means 12 were on the bench. "Coach Zrenda tried her best to make sure we all received as equal playing time as possible.”

The freshman team got a lot of recognition for their achievement of being undefeated, but the the Varsity team also did well this season.

The Varsity coach, Jon Shepro, led the team throughout their season. He has been coaching volleyball since 1997. He started with coaching the freshman team at Trumbull High School, then made the switch to Staples.

“Overall, I think the girls had a nice season. They certainly had high expectations, and they fulfilled those expectations by competing in FCIACS, States, and by battling with top teams in the state,” Coach Shepro said.

The playing time on the Varsity team is much different than the freshman and JV teams. “The players that give us the best chance to win are the ones who get playing time” Coach Shepro said.

The Varsity team has both juniors and seniors on it, as well as one sophomore. They all get playing time but it varies each game who plays in which sets.

The volleyball program at Staples has grown over the past few years, and the teams continue to improve.

The Freshman Team With Coach Kelly Zrenda
The JV Team With Coach Dan Cho
The Varsity Team Coached By Jon Shepro

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