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Farmington Hills

August 29, 2012

North Farmington hopes hard work and passion pays off

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North Farmington seniors Elise Foss, left, and Kaitlyn Schoeppner go up for a block in a tournament Aug. 25 at Walled Lake Central.

FARMINGTON HILLS — North Farmington High senior outside hitter Kaitlyn Schoeppner knows what’s in store for her when she comes to practice every day.

The Raiders pride themselves on getting to every ball possible, and with that philosophy comes bumps, bruises and a lot of smiles.

“It’s kind of part of the job, I guess. I’ve got some battle scars, but you kind of expect it. As long as you love the sport and what you do, it’s fun and pays off. Plus, it’s fun to show off the bruises,” Schoeppner said with a laugh before another practice began.

It’s that enthusiasm and attitude that has second-year coach Jessica Condeni excited.

“We have little things that we need to work on to become a really, really good team, but they come in and work hard every day. We have the pieces; now we just have to keep on putting them together,” she said. “It’s all about hard work and getting to balls that no one else can or that they even think they can’t get to. That’s kind of how we practice. If the ball is hitting the ground, you’re hitting the ground. They’re a lot of fun to watch.”

The Raiders return seven players in all, five that saw significant time from the squad that finished 4-4 and tied for third in the Oakland Activities Association White Division.

Along with those lettermen, North Farmington has added senior Nicayla Joyce, a transfer from Birmingham Marian.

“That was a big, missing puzzle piece for us,” Condeni said. “She’s an outside hitter, so now we have two strong outside hitters. Last year, we really depended heavily on Kaitlyn Schoeppner, but this year we can run some plays and be more dynamic.

“It just evens out our team and brings more balance. At practice, it’s really cool to see these two good hitters go at each other.”

Schoeppner has verbally committed to Mississippi State University, and Joyce has committed to Winthrop University, according to their coach

Schoeppner called her teammate a “huge add on.”

“I’ve played with her forever (on club teams), so just having a friend on the team is nice, but also she’s another really strong player,” she said. “It’s nice to kind of not having it all rest on my shoulders.”

Schoeppner added that her goals are to win the city championship and a district title, and hard work and passion are what will lead them there.

“It’s all about that, all the time and never taking breaks,” she said. “I think that’s something that not a lot of teams have.”