Berkley High freshman Sawyer Jones attempts to help her team earn a point earlier this year. Berkley coach Chantelle Korson said the Bears had some  “younger girls step into  some big shoes this year.”

Berkley High freshman Sawyer Jones attempts to help her team earn a point earlier this year. Berkley coach Chantelle Korson said the Bears had some “younger girls step into some big shoes this year.”

Photo by Donna Agusti


Berkley High’s volleyball season concludes with playoff loss

By: Mark Vest | Woodward Talk | Published November 12, 2019

 Berkley High freshman Ava Beard attempts to get the ball over the net against Madison Heights Bishop Foley earlier this year. Berkley’s season ended with a district semifinal loss against Detroit Renaissance.

Berkley High freshman Ava Beard attempts to get the ball over the net against Madison Heights Bishop Foley earlier this year. Berkley’s season ended with a district semifinal loss against Detroit Renaissance.

Photo by Donna Agusti

BERKLEY — Berkley High’s volleyball season ended with a 3-0 loss against Detroit Renaissance Nov. 6 in a Division 1 district semifinal at Warren Fitzgerald.

Prior to the loss, Berkley beat Oak Park High in straight sets in its district opener Nov. 4.

Following the Bears’ match against Renaissance, coach Chantelle Korson shared an evaluation of her team’s season, including its run in the Oakland Activities Association White Division.

“We struggled to take games, in my opinion, that we should have. I have six seniors, but I have some younger girls, as well, so we ebbed and flowed with confidence, and sometimes we played really well and sometimes we struggled,” she said. “(I) think there’s a consistency that comes with confidence, and when you’re not winning a lot (of) games, you struggle. That being said, they had some amazing moments in the season when they played extremely well against some good teams.”

With this season now history, Korson can focus her attention on what Berkley can do to have better nights ahead.

“Volleyball’s a mental game, so we need to work on resilience in tough situations: loud crowds, pressure situations, not get in our own heads (and) be more of a cohesive team,” she said. “Being that cohesive team is really what pulls you together in high-pressure moments. The skills are there, the techniques are there; it’s just in those moments, coming together.”

Although there is room for improvement, Korson did see some things to like during the course of the season.

“We had girls change positions, girls that made huge improvements throughout the season, got in different opportunities, different roles than I anticipated from the beginning of the season,” she said. “Had some younger girls step into some big shoes this year. I had three freshmen on the court tonight, and they played pretty consistently throughout the season. That’s a big role for a freshman (to) be playing at this varsity level.”

Brooke Hines, Erin Keefe, Rayna Gold, Zoe Knaus, Sophie Egnotovich and Casey Frump were the seniors on Berkley’s roster.

“I’ve had a fun time with my friends and my teammates,” Egnotovich said.

The cohesiveness Korson wants for her team is something she prefers to see at all levels of the program. She would like to have consistency regarding techniques and what is taught.

“We’ve done that over the past couple years,” Korson said. “This is my fifth year. We’ve been building a program, and I (want to) see that grow; more interest in the sport, more people playing in the offseason. That helps us compete at those higher levels.”

The coach noted that the number of girls trying out and playing more during the offseason has improved in her time there.

“That gives us a better starting point at the beginning of the season,” she said.

Although seniors made up a significant portion of Berkley’s roster, Korson isn’t expecting the cupboard to be bare going forward.

“We have great potential coming back,” she said.