North Farmington volleyball coach Jessica Condeni knew she had something special right from the start of her first practice.
The Raiders entered the year heavy with seniors, talent and promise.
“We came in and worked really hard every day,” she said. “All the girls were on the same page, wanted the same things and understood what it took to get there. They never lost sight of their goals.”
North Farmington made good on its potential, winning the school’s first-ever Class A district title according to its coach.
The season came to a close in a regional final, losing to Northville High in three games Nov. 8 at Brighton High.
In the regional, the Raiders beat the host in their semifinal.
“We didn’t play our best against Northville, which is hard and frustrating because we had worked so hard to get to this point,” Condeni said. “To Northville’s credit, they’re a great team, but we were not able to do anything on our side of the net to help us out, really. We fought, and we fought all year. It just wasn’t how we wanted to go out, but one match doesn’t determine the whole entire season.”
The Raiders finished 38-12 overall and placed third in the Oakland Activities Association Red Division.
Along with a district title, Condeni felt her team earned something else.
“Nobody looks at North Farmington and thinks of volleyball. We got some of that respect now, and it’s a credit to the girls,” she said.
With the loss of so much talent to graduation, Condeni knows next season’s look will be much different.
“It’s more than just volleyball. We all learned lessons, and hopefully they can take it along on their next step,” she said. “I just have such a great senior group of girls. It’s going to be really difficult to replace them. We have a lot of big spots to fill. I’m lucky as a second-year coach to be able to coach such good players. I’ve kind of been put in a really special season with the senior class that I had.”