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Spikers hope to build on last season



Varsity_Volleyball
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Front Row: (left to right) A. Paese, M. Maier, and T. Leszczynski. Second Row: K. Orr, H. Wright, T. Taraski, T. Leppek. M. Mobley and Manager E. Sefcheck. Third Row: Asst. Coach L. Brown. J. Walker, D. Bandel, M. Neff, M. Line, A. Wysocki, and Coach K. McDevitt (click for larger version)
August 22, 2012 - By Curtis Pulliam

Leader Intern

The Oxford volleyball team is hoping to build off of last year's results in the Oakland Athletic Association's toughest division, the OAA Red.

"Last year, we were in a four-way tie for fourth place in the division. We ended up taking sixth, which for our first time in the Red division, I was happy with that," said varsity head coach Kristi McDevitt. "But I lost eight seniors, so that's always worrisome, especially when three of them went on to play at college. Lindsey Leppek (Rochester College), Katie Bearse, and Olivia Krause (St. Clair Community College), right there are huge shoes to fill."

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Despite losing eight seniors, McDevitt is still very excited about the upcoming season.

"After going through the tryout process and everything, we are going to be fine, we're going to be good," McDevitt said. "It is kind of cool to lose eight seniors and instead of rebuilding we are actually kind of reloading with good quality players. It means your program is in a pretty good state when you can do something like that."

McDevitt realizes the fact that she has a super young team but she does have a couple of returning players from last year's squad.

"One returning player is junior (Captain) Darien Bandel, she's going to be moving from the middle of the court to be an outside hitter this year," said McDevitt. "Then there is junior Julia Walker who was on the squad last year as an outside, so she's returning. We went to Western team camp earlier in the summer, and both Darien and Julia were named to the all-tournament, so that right there was huge and put a smile on my face."

So far this summer McDevitt has been impressed with her own team which leads her to believe they will do just fine in the Red division.

"Last year I think a lot of the teams were thinking Oxford was going to take seventh or eighth and have to move right back down but we held our own," said McDevitt. "I think the same is going to (happen) this year. You have top teams like Clarkston and Lake Orion, and I hope we are up there in the top three. I hope the girls go out in the OAA Red and set an example. I think we have a definite chance of taking a lot of people by surprise."

While McDevitt would love for her girls to be near the top or win the division, she wants an even higher prize for her team.

"I am ready for a district championship, it's one thing that has escaped me since I started coaching, been to the finals a few times, things like that" McDevitt said. "The girls, this program needs to know what it feels like, I want them to know what an awesome feeling it is. It would be nice to throw that big would trophy in our trophy case."

The district championship trophy would be a great feat but McDevitt knows in order to do achieve that the team must be just as competitive as she is. "I'm a very competitive person and I love to win, and when I lose it just eats at me," McDevitt said. "It's just kind of like a competitiveness that's missing. I just really want these girls to know what it's like to go after something and win, and know that feeling. It's something that stays with you for the rest of your life."

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