Roseville High volleyball learning to play together

By: Zachary Manning | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published September 4, 2019

 Roseville High’s Stephanie Owens prepares to serve the ball during the Warren Woods Tower tournament Aug. 24. The Panthers will play again at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 10 at home against St. Clair High.

Roseville High’s Stephanie Owens prepares to serve the ball during the Warren Woods Tower tournament Aug. 24. The Panthers will play again at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 10 at home against St. Clair High.

Photo by Sarah Purlee

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ROSEVILLE –– Members of the Roseville High volleyball team didn’t have much time to get to know each other before entering their first tournament of the season. 

With a new coach and a team with limited experience playing together, the Panthers headed to the Warren Woods Tower tournament Aug. 24 with just one week of practice under their belt.  

They took their bumps, collecting a 0-2-1 record, but first-year coach Nicole Golden wasn’t discouraged by the results. If anything, she was happy with the growth she saw from her team from beginning to end. 

“They have never played really together,” Golden said. “There’s a couple that were on JV last year, a couple that were on varsity, but not together. Now, we’re just trying to make us a team.”

With the results from the tournament, the Panthers know there are things to work on, but also build upon.

Golden was happy with the team’s ability to attack and its overall communication on the court, while senior Hailey Ballor added that they learned how to play better as a team. 

A big key to learning how to play better as a team is forming a tight bond — something Ballor has seen the Panthers do in a short time. 

“It’s kind of crazy how close we’ve gotten together,” Ballor said. “Having a new coach and all, she’s amazing. We all bonded with her really, really fast. Everyone, we’re very supportive of each other, and we love each other a lot — like a family.” 

The Panthers will be competing in the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division this season. Roseville finished fourth in the Gold Division last year. 

Golden admitted that she hasn’t seen too much of other teams in the league, but she likes the way her team looks. However, while winning is important for Golden, seeing improvement is one of her main goals for the season.  

She doesn’t want her team to feel any pressure. Instead, she’d like to see them have fun and enjoy playing the game. 

“I want us to be happy with us,” Golden said. “I think they can go far, but I don’t want to put the pressure on them. I want them to get better, I want them to have fun, I want them to learn, and then what happens, happens.” 

Up next, Roseville takes the court at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 10 at home against St. Clair High. 

Call Sports Writer Zachary Manning at (586) 279-1107. Follow Sports on Twitter @CandGSports.

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