Frederick Douglass Volleyball Set for Postseason
The Frederick Douglass volleyball team is ready to make some noise in the postseason after having a breakout regular season.
After finishing 2015 with a 3-9 record, the Eagles have been in scintillating form this year, completing the regular season with a 12-1 mark. That includes a 10 game win streak to start the year, racking up wins against fellow Prince George's County teams Oxon Hill, Laurel and Fairmont Heights.
"I always see the potential of the team but until you send them out on the court, you don't know if they will perform to that potential," head coach Angela Alcain said. "This year they exceeded my expectations in terms of their teamwork and resoluteness. The momentum of each victory pushed them into the next match."
That teamwork and resoluteness has been put to the test routinely this season, and the Eagles have always seemed to find a way to respond.
Alcain admits she makes adjustments to her lineup constantly. Players have played positions other than their preferred ones for the better of the team, and the group has continued to win.
No position is this more apparent than setter. Senior Tawnie Wood has been a constant for the Eagles, but her partner in the position has been in flux. Kambrea Quihuiz, who usually plays libero or outside hitter, was tabbed as the other setter at the beginning of the season, and the offense excelled as a result. When Quihuiz became unavailable in the second half of the season, sophomore Antoinette Hall stepped in. Senior Dominique Bynum, the team's top right side hitter, has also spent time at the position throughout the year.
Alcain credits the team's experience for its adaptability. The Eagles possess eight seniors on their roster, all of whom have done a good job of setting the tone for some of the team's strong, younger players.
"While the skill level improves throughout the season, the big difference experience can make is remaining consistent as I make adjustments to the lineup," Alcain said. "While we have done well this season, I'm still making changes as we prepare for stronger teams and because I would like to see a more dynamic offense from us."
The team has gotten excellent production from its middle hitters Eniya Clarke-Kennedy and Morgan Eugene, as well as outside hitter Jordan Day. Alcain says the hitters have excelled as a result of the Eagles' new assistant coach, Terri Ford. Ford, an alum of Frederick Douglass, has focused her energy on improving the play of the team's hitters, and that hard work has shown up in the team's toughest games.
The group will have to continue to excel if the Eagles are going to make an impact in the playoffs. Frederick Douglass earned a first round bye in the MPSSAA 2A state playoffs, and will start its postseason journey Nov. 7 against either Friendly or Largo.
If the team wins its first game, there's a good chance the Eagles will face Southern from Anne Arundel County. Southern has won the last four sectional titles, making the Bulldogs the team to beat.
Alcain's primary thoughts are on her own team's improvement, but that doesn't mean that she and the Eagles haven't considered the prospect of facing Southern.
"We will continue to focus on improving with each practice and match," Alcain said. "It would be great to face Southern in the regional semifinals."
Pictures were provided for CSZ by Angela Alcain. They were snapped by Chris Thompkins.
|November 1st, 2016||By: Wick Eisenberg|