By Stefanie Kilnapp
The Bay High School volleyball team has high expectations from head coach Tony Tahan, and the Rockets are doing a successful job of exceeding them, especially in last Thursday’s game against North Ridgeville.
When asked about the organization and excellent placement on the floor, Tahan chuckles, “It better be (excellent), they have a very good coach.”
The Rockets (12-7, 7-5 in the West Shore Conference) shut out the Rangers in a 3-0 win (25-13, 25-16, 25-17). The Bay defense shined in all three sets, not allowing their opponents get past 17 points at any point during the entire match.
“Our main thing is playing strong defense, understanding and anticipating,” Tahan said, “We do a lot of defense in our practices we emphasize a lot on defense, it’s very important for us.
“First thing you have to know is, my team is extremely young and I have three freshmen in the front row, so just the process of getting them to a point where they can compete is a challenge.”
It is clear that the girls on the team are a good fit for each other.
“Individually we all are leaders and we try to push each other to do our best and we’re working well as a team; overall we’re doing good,” Bay junior Savannah Skelly said. “When people are down we try to pick each other up, to push and do our best and that usually helps.
“We try to push the last points in, total pursuit and not let anything in to hit the floor.”
On the contrary, Tahan doesn’t believe the team has always played so impressively.
Tahan attributes this improvement to his assistant, Katie Mccarthy’s motto: “The three Cs,” which are communication, confidence and coverage.
The difference in communication within the teams was noticeable. Bay’s communication was understated and solid, which is a contributing factor to the considerable amount of victories the team is racking up. Tahan would use one word to describe their communication method, “precise”.
“Nah; not worried about anyone,” Tahan isn’t fretting over any teams going into the post season, he elaborates, “At one point we had a lot of weak teams and it seems like they weeded themselves out and now it’s a very strong conference. We are very much loaded with young talent, we have a lot of freshmen on our team and that is good for our future.”
He goes on talking about the downside to young players. He said sternly, “With youth comes a lot of bad decisions.”
Tahan explained the loss to Avon that the absence of middle Jamie Kantor had them scrambling to come up with a line up. How it happened was, “The only reason they beat us is because in the warm up, one of my middles #8 (Bridget Durham) broke my other middles finger (Jamie Kantor), so she didn’t even play. We were obviously not anticipating losing my middle before the game even started. Avon played well, they deserved to win but I did not have my middle and that’s why Avon beat us.”
Coach’s final comments go to the compliment of opposing coach Dana Peterson, “I think the Ridgeville coach did a great job with her kids,” Tahan quickly praised, “They all seem to work very, very hard. I think the program is going in the right direction with Dana.”