Fitzgerald volleyball relies on senior quartet, consistency in title chase

By: Sue Teggart | Warren Weekly | Published October 19, 2011

 Warren Fitzgerald libero senior Ka Vang passes a ball during a game earlier in the season. Vang is one of four seniors helping Fitz lead the pack in the MAC Bronze Division.

Warren Fitzgerald libero senior Ka Vang passes a ball during a game earlier in the season. Vang is one of four seniors helping Fitz lead the pack in the MAC Bronze Division.

Photo by David Schreiber

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As the regular season winds down, the Warren Fitzgerald volleyball squad is ramping up its efforts.

At press time, the Spartans were 6-1 in the Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division, 16-8-1 overall, and headed into the final stretch of league action tied for first place with crosstown rival Warren Lincoln.

Coach Heidi South said consistency has been the key to the Spartans’ strong play.

“In our division, if you can go out every night and be fundamentally sound and be consistent, that’s your key to success, especially at this level,” said South.

The heart of the team lies in its four seniors, who play scrappy volleyball.

“I’ve had four seniors on my team that have played for me all three years,” South said. “So they know my coaching style. I’m very structured. I’m very fundamental-based. I think the opportunity to build with those girls the past three years has been huge when it comes to the contribution of our success so far.”

Fitzgerald senior captain Samatha Miloser credited the hot start to the team’s chemistry.

“We’re all clicking,” Miloser said. “This year, we’re pretty much all returning varsity players, so we’re all working off each other.”

Though South welcomed back seven varsity regulars in all, her four seniors, who are all captains, have made a considerable impact on the team’s success.

South calls senior outside hitter Samantha Miloser “court savvy.”

“She is probably my most talented young lady on the court,” South said. “Just when you think there’s no hope, and the ball comes over and it’s going to hit the floor, she shows up out of nowhere to dig the ball.

“She loves the game of volleyball, and it definitely shows it her play,” South continued. “She plays her heart out day in and out. She’s a very smart player; she knows how to place the ball on her attacks.”

Whether it’s playing tough defense or fierce offense, Miloser has emerged as the Spartans’ leader.

“When it comes to action, she’s my leader on the court,” South said. “She steps up and takes control on the court. The other players take notice and know wherever the ball goes, Sam is there.”

Fitz’s other key senior contributors are setter Emily Sanders, who plays all-around, libero Ka Vang and middle hitter Ellyse Vogel.

South said the senior quartet has been working hard to get on a roll that it hopes will propel the Spartans to a MAC championship and a successful postseason. Fitz won its last division title in 2007 in the MAC Silver.

“I told my girls yesterday at practice that everybody wants to be the spoiler,” South said Oct. 11. “I told them that what we need to do is go out there and just play our game. We need to be consistent, and we need to show them why we are in the position that we’re in.

“My expectations for the rest of the season is to just take one opponent at a time,” South continued. “We want to finish at the top of the conference and to hopefully, finally, win a district.”

The Spartans head to the Division A district at Detroit Renaissance and play Renaissance Nov. 2 at 6:30 p.m. at the host school. To confirm district matches, log on to www.mhsaa.com.

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