Confidence. Teamwork. Determination.
You could say the Rolling Hills girls volleyball team has it all … and then some. This year the eighth-grade team won the Foothill Athletic League championship match against rival Camerado Springs in mid-October.
But the fact that they won isn’t the most amazing part. The fact that these girls claimed the seventh-grade championship title last year isn’t the highlight of this story either.
This Rolling Hills Bengal Tigers team has never lost … not even one match.
“It’s just amazing that they could do this,” said coach Amy Pirkl.
So what’s their secret?
The girls practiced almost every day and, Pirkl pointed out, most of them also play club volleyball, giving the team an extra edge. Player Emily Demure, 13, has had a volleyball in her hands since age 5. The 5 foot, 10 inch setter/middle was destined to dominate in the game and she said she had every confidence her team would take home the trophy this year.
“We were really a strong team last year so I knew we were going to be good,” she said.
Good, in this case, might be an understatement.
Team co-captain Savanah Schroeder, 13, echoed Emily’s comments, adding that the Bengal Tiger’s special chant before each game might have given them some extra good luck.
Noelle Tvisvikas, 13, credited teammates closeness, explaining, “We are all really good friends. We’re in it together.”
Kira Chavez, 13, joined the team this year and called the championships “intense.” “At the end everybody was getting tired from all the games we played.”
Played … and won.
And now many of the girls have their sights set on Oak Ridge High School just down the street.
“People from this team can bring a lot to the Oak Right team,” said Olivia Reed, 13. “We have good overall players with good attitudes.”
“We hope to go to the state championships (at Oak Ridge next year) and take it all,” added Hannah Stellmacher, 13.
Sending the girls to Oak Ridge (or St. Francis) is bittersweet for Pirkl, who started coaching when these girls had their seventh-grade perfect season.
“I’m going to miss them,” she said. “It’s going to be a long time before we get back to the level where these girls are.”