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The Student News Site of Shorecrest Preparatory School

The Chronicle

The Student News Site of Shorecrest Preparatory School

The Chronicle

Shorecrest Volleyball and the Chargers Spirit

Senior+Bella+Hursey+prepares+to+strike+the+volleyball+at+the+August+24%2C+2023+Shorecrest+Varsity+Volleyball+Team+game+against+St.+Petersburg+High.+%0A++++%0A
Braden Stone
Senior Bella Hursey prepares to strike the volleyball at the August 24, 2023 Shorecrest Varsity Volleyball Team game against St. Petersburg High.

     August 24, 2023—the Shorecrest Varsity Volleyball team swept St. Petersburg High School three sets to zero. While this early season victory can undoubtedly be attributed to the skill and dedication of the volleyball team, led by Middle School PE Teacher Coach Courtney Draper, the endearing support the team received from the community both on and off the court similarly contributed.

     Seeing the stands teeming with Chargers in white-out attire, eager to cheer on their team, “was like having a seventh player on the court,” said Draper. Senior and Captain Bella Hursey said, “We came out expecting a relatively small student section, but people just kept piling in.” 

     This exciting season opener had an exceptional impact on the team. Seventh grade setter Hayden Zielinski made her debut on the varsity team at this game. “That being my first ever game, I was like oh my god!” Zielinski said. “The energy was there, and we felt the need to bring the effort.”

     Being a 7th grader on the varsity team, Zielinski understandably had some nerves coming into the season. These feelings were calmed after learning about the sweet and supportive nature of the team. Draper said, “These girls treat her exactly like a peer.”

     This spirit of community begins in the Crisp Gym, long before crowds arrive. The teams at the middle school, junior varsity, and varsity levels put in countless hours of practice each week. On Fridays, all three levels of Shorecrest Volleyball hold a joint practice to inspire a sense of camaraderie. “I feel like we have a really good culture in the entire volleyball program at Shorecrest from top to bottom,” said Draper. 

     Something as routine as a joint afternoon practice can have an immeasurable effect on the younger players. Seventh grader and volleyball player Grace Kennedy said, “Practicing with the older girls makes me want to try my best and motivates me to get better.”

     It’s truly evident how teamwork and a strong sense of support impacts the Shorecrest community. The morale boost from the fans undeniably helped the season get off to a strong start. The team ended with a 17-9 record and ultimately lost to Calvary Christian in the second round of the playoffs.  Hursey said, “The team this year is closer than ever. We all respect and trust each other, which helps the team perform at 110%.” 

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Diana Muzzarelli, Staff Writer
Braden Stone
Braden Stone, Co-Editor-In-Chief
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