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Coach Kit Maddox reminisces on past season

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

Sophia Kalugin, ’19, serves the ball into play during a volleyball match, Sept. 20.

After a 2017 season that led to a league record of 8-2 and a No. 4 playoff seed, the Fresno Christian girls volleyball team came into the 2018 season with high expectations. After losing two seniors from the starting lineup, four more determined seniors took their place, ones with veteran experience and leadership.

During the offseason, the CIF changed up divisions by moving the Eagles from the Central Section Division V West Sequoia league to the East Sierra league. Here, they competed against schools such as Kings Christian, WCPA, Alpaugh, Summit Charter and Laton. Throughout the year, each of these teams in the new division demonstrated their capabilities. The toughest of these schools, however, proved to be the Kings Christian Crusaders.

The Eagles played against the Crusaders, Sept. 24, where the Eagles fought and won 3-1, putting them above Kings Christian in league. However, they played them again Sept. 25 and Oct. 11, losing both games and gaining the second spot in league overall.

Coach Kit Maddox loved coaching this year’s team and says he is proud of their 13-2 East Sierra League record and overall season.

“They were amazing, they played hard every single time and they had great attitudes, gave hard work,” Maddox said. “It’s not just playing hard and doing well in league, because it’s not always about results, but, they improved so much this year. They gave hard work and effort every time and that’s something that you can’t teach.”

In this podcast, Kyle Clem talks with coach Kit Maddox about the 2018 volleyball season.

In the first round of playoffs, Fresno Christian (No. 9 seed) faced the No. 8 ranked Kerman Lions at home, Oct. 25. Even though both teams held similar seeding, Kerman came from Division 4 so they held the upper hand over Fresno Christian. Despite this slight advantage, the Eagles fought hard throughout the match. The final score ended up 3-0, but each match resulted in close finishes for both teams.

This playoff loss signaled the end of the 2018 season and a time to look ahead to the upcoming season. Next year, the team finds itself looking to several JV girls to step in and fill the positions left by seniors Julia FikseSophia KalugianKaylie ClemKamryn Schultz and Annaleise Anderson.

Maddox believes that the team possesses the ability to come in next year and pick up right where they left off.

“It’s scary the amount of seniors that we’re losing and we’re most definitely going to feel it,” Maddox said. “But in the same regards I think we’ve had a really good sophomore, freshman and even an eighth grade class coming through. I think we’re just going to kind of pick up right where we left off and keep things going. I’m looking forward to next year.”

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

Kamryn Schultz, ’19, sets the ball up for a spike versus Laton, Sept. 20.

Despite the end of the volleyball season, several girls that played now get ready for the new season of winter sports. Many of these athletes plan to make the transition from practicing for volleyball to getting ready for soccer and basketball.

Even after these next few seasons of sports conclude and the school year ends, volleyball already plans to get back on the court and prepare for the next season. Maddox hopes to host several open gyms during the summer and allow the girls to participate in conditioning to prepare for the upcoming season.

After multiple years of increased growth for the volleyball team, Fikse says the 2019 team holds the possibility that the Eagles might break out and execute a deep run in the playoffs.

“This year, our team has worked really hard together,” Fikse said. “I am so proud of the progress our team has made these past two years and especially this year. Senior year has definitely been my best year playing volleyball with my team and I am thankful for all we accomplished. I believe next year volleyball will succeed even farther in playoffs and even have a good chance winning league and Valley.”

For more articles, read Sadies 2018: California’s Great America or Space archaeology: discovering and defining history.

Kyle Clem can be reached via Twitter and email.

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