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The Tiger

The Student News Site of Elmwood Park High School

The Tiger

The Student News Site of Elmwood Park High School

The Tiger

Girls Varsity Volleyball Overview

Dave Porreca

Girls Varsity Volleyball advanced to the Regionals, fighting to bring home the first-place title! The Regionals game was hosted by Fenton Christian High School on Oct 26, 2023, at 6:00 p.m. The girls played against Wheaton Academy, which sadly ended in a loss, but they are still so happy about how far they’ve come and all they have accomplished this season. They were determined to be successful this season and try their best, and that’s exactly what they did, still ending up making history!

History in the Making

Elmwood Park High School hosted an annual quad in the Fall which consisted of 4 teams: the Elmwood Park Tigers, Round Lake Panthers, Harvard Hornets, and the Walther Christian Broncos. Although we didn’t get first place, we did get second ! This was very exciting for us! In this annual quad we typically place last, according to senior Nicole Taha. This season went a lot better than anyone expected, so I interviewed 5 varsity players and their coach for the inside scoop. They all had a lot to say in response to the following questions:

  • “What do you think your team’s strengths were?”

  • “What do you think you needs to be practiced more?”

  •  “Did the season go the way you intended it to go?”

  • “How would you describe your personal experience this season?

Nikolija, a sophomore who is playing her second season on Girls’ Varsity Volleyball. (Dave Porreca)

Nikolija Bulatovic

Team Strengths: Working together as a team and being able to uplift each other when feeling down

Need to Improve: Being able to read the hitter and watch the hitter’s body language

Season Thought: “It’s 50/50 with how I wanted the season to go. We made history this past season by winning tournaments that EPHS volleyball has never won prior. However, the other half of it goes to losing the Regional Title when we should have won. Some people wanted to show up and others gave up and got in their heads.”

  • Personal Experience: “I believe that I made a HUGE impact on the team because of my knowledge of the game and leadership on the court. Like Coach Stanton said, I am the foundation and without the foundation you can’t do much. But my experience on the team was amazing. I had so much fun and I can’t wait till next season!!!”

   Click here for a video that spotlights this Varsity Captain, highlighting her talents, accomplishments, and opportunities at EPHS and 1st Alliance (15U Gold) .

Senior, Nicole Taha has been involved with the EPHS Volleyball team since her freshman year. (Dave Porreca)

Nicole Taha

  • Team Strengths: Valuing practice time and pushing themselves to improve every game

  • Need to Improve: Communication and being louder on the court

  • Season Thoughts: “The season exceeded our expectations this year! We beat the school record, ending at a 25:10 status, which was amazing. This was on top of winning our annual quad, placing 2nd at the Reed Custer Tournament (that we typically place last in), and making it to the Finals in Regionals.”

  • Personal Experience: “This season was definitely filled with a lot of growth. It was a long season beginning in the summer with camp and extending to Regionals in late October. Since this was my last year playing volleyball, I decimated myself to meet the goals I set for myself freshman year and I feel I achieved them!”

Carole Akers

Junior, Carole Akers (right) posing with her practice partner Nikolija (left) (Dave Porreca)
  • Team Strengths: Strong team relationships, great chemistry, and high pride

  • Need to Improve: Practice drills more intensely and identify and correct mistakes

  • Season Thoughts: “The season for me was great. I loved playing with my girls. We broke some records that haven’t ever been broken at our school before. But I think our last game didn’t end the way I wanted it to. We had a great first set and then just lost it in the second one which was upsetting but it is what it is. This was my favorite season. Everyone got along great, but we always got next year to win that Regional Title.”

  • Personal Experience: “I think this year was great; I have improved so much over the last year when I was on Varsity to now.”

Riley, a senior who’s primary position is hitter. (Dave Porreca)

Riley Bishoff

  • Team Strengths: Not giving up and being able to come back after losing the 1st set
  • Need to Improve: Hitting from different areas on the court

  • Season Thoughts: “The season did go the way I intended it to, and I’m really happy with how far we made it.”

  • Personal Experience: “My personal experience was great. I really appreciated Senior Night, which was probably my favorite game of ours since it was against Ridgewood. I think this season has been better than past ones”

Coach Brittany Stanton has had a historic season with a breaking 25-10 record.

Coach Stanton

  • Team Strengths: Good communication/consistency and the girls always stayed determined

  • Need to Improve: Reading the opposing team’s hits and knowing when and where to block and getting back row ready to recover the failed blocks

  • Season Thoughts: “This season went beyond what I imagined it would. The Varsity girls took every opportunity to perform well and ran with it. They wanted to be the best volleyball players they could be, so they became the best volleyball players they could become. A winning 25-10 record is no easy feat to accomplish and I am so proud of the girls for setting goals, reaching them, and not letting anything get in their way.”

  • Personal Experience: “My experience as head coach this season has been one that I’ll never forget. Regardless of our successes and how far we came as a program, I was able to coach some of the most talented, fun, hard-working, and dedicated group of young women I’ve come across. They make coaching the most rewarding, enjoyable experience and I can’t wait to see what next season has in store for us.

After interviewing some of the players from the team and the coach, I would say this was a very successful season. Even though it didn’t end the way they hoped, they did their best and really showed up this year by beating the school record and winning 2nd place in the EP Quad! Considering how far they got this year makes me very confident that next season will be another outstanding one and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us!

Works Cited

  • Akers, Carole. Personal Interview. November 9, 2023.
  • Bishoff, Riley. Personal Interview. November 7, 2023.
  • Bulatovic, Nikolija. Personal Interview. November 2, 2023.
  • Stanton, Brittany. Personal Interview. November 2, 2023
  • Taha, Nicole. Personal Interview. October 31, 2023.
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About the Contributors
Jailani Rodriguez
Jailani Rodriguez, Staff Reporter
Hey! My name is Jailani Rodriguez and I'm a freshman at Elmwood Park High School. Outside of journalism, I love to play basketball and volleyball and I am on both teams at EPHS. I am also involved in Operation Snowball and Student Council. My favorite music genre is hip-hop and my favorite artist is Frank Ocean.
Liliana Corbett
Liliana Corbett, EPTV Sports/Staff Reporter
Hi! My name is Liliana Corbett, and I am a senior. This is my first year on the EPTV team and my role on the team is sports updates and creating graphics. During my time at Elmwood Park High School, I am usually managing either boys’ volleyball or wrestling, and I am also a member of National Honor Society. My favorite singer is Taylor Swift, and my favorite album of hers is either Folklore or Speak Now (Taylor’s Version). In my free time, I enjoy watching sports, going to concerts, and hanging out with my friends. After high school, I plan to attend college and study either Sports Journalism or Exercise Science.
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