Warriors enter third year with higher expectations

Published in the September 9, 2015 edition

SARRAH CHOUIAKH (#55) returns this year and is one of the three senior captains. She, along with captains Liz Germino and Erin Murphy, hope to lead the Warriors to bigger and better things in 2015. (Donna Larsson File Photo)

SARRAH CHOUIAKH (#55) returns this year and is one of the three senior captains. She, along with captains Liz Germino and Erin Murphy, hope to lead the Warriors to bigger and better things in 2015. (Donna Larsson File Photo)


WAKEFIELD — With school back in session that means that fall sports are on the docket once again. One of the fastest growing sports in town in the fall has to be the girls’ volleyball program led by Head Coach Nicole Trudeau.

Coach Trudeau has been in charge of the program since its inception three years ago and this year she feels like there is a reason to be excited for volleyball.

“This is the first year we really have people who are invested in the sport from top to bottom,” Trudeau said. “From the new kids to the veterans, they love the game and want to play volleyball.

“In our first year we won no matches, zero. In our second year we won three matches, which was great because they won good matches. They played deep into the match. This year I 100 percent expect to be making significant changes, playing into the fifth set, pushing great teams further,” Coach Trudeau added.

Wakefield finished with a 3-16 overall record and 2-14 record in the Middlesex League Freedom division.

“Our motto this year is ‘All in-All day.’ It starts in the class room then continues onto the court. You can’t just go through life halfway,” Trudeau said as she anticipates her team performing into the later sets.

Her team is made up of some young players but almost all of them have had varsity experience on the court.

“We only had one graduating senior last year,” Trudeau said. “So pretty much everyone is returning. We have some sophomores that have worked hard in the offseason and will be stepping in to play in a big role.”

“The three senior captains, Liz Germino, Erin Murphy, Sarrah Chouiakh have really been working hard,” the coach said.

But she knew what she could get out of her seniors on the court, it was off the court that their hard work got noticed.

“The social and team aspect of this was a huge goal of ours and these three have worked tirelessly on it,” said Trudeau.

Her juniors are the players Trudeau will rely on to score points. Outside hitters Emma Butler and Nicole Roberto and Abbie Badgett in the middle will have to come up big if the Warriors are going to have success this season.

“You’ll see seniors on defense and libero, and juniors are big on offense and two sophomore setters,” said Trudeau. “The quarterbacks of the team are sophomores Allie Cogswell and Julia Purcell. It’s nice, we’ve seen some young mistakes from them but they’re both very intense competitors and the right people to have leading the offense.”

The season opens Wednesday against a strong Middlesex League opponent as they face Lexington in their opening match.

“Lexington is typically a strong team, they’ve had a program for a long time,” said Trudeau.

The team held a scrimmage with Notre Dame of Tyngsboro, a team that has seen success in recent years, and Coach Trudeau saw some promising sights from her squad.

“There were some rough patches and things we need to fix,” the coach said. “But for the most part they were hustling after balls that they never would have gone for before and making plays they I don’t think they even expected themselves to make, and it’s nice to finally see that.

“What’s happening is, people are committing themselves to this sport, which is not the norm,” Coach Trudeau added. “Every other team in this league has that solid volleyball following and we haven’t had that before this year.”

She went on to say, “We have good leadership from the seniors they’re always giving positive reinforcement to the team. Their knowledge of the game is great, they know where they need to be, they’re helping their teammates with where to be on the court and they’re setting the tone for the game.

“The juniors have the tactical knowledge and sport IQ, while the seniors provide the vision of the big picture. They’re doing a really good job of making everyone feel the sense of importance,” added the coach.

For the second straight season the volleyball team will be hosting its annual “Go Gold” game in an effort to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer. In the “Go Gold” game, to be held on Monday, Sept. 28 when the team hosts Burlington. It will be the one and only game of the year where admission is charged and, along with raffles, all the proceeds will be going to benefit pediatric cancer.

Coach Trudeau acknowledged the efforts of volleyball as a sport to make this sort of effort for breast cancer but seeing as these are kids playing these games and pediatric cancer is one of the least publicized yet widely spread forms of the deadly disease, the Warriors felt they had to do their part to help spread the word.

Without a doubt expectations are high on this year’s team. With the team working harder than ever to move the bar from previous years, there is very little doubt there will be more excitement from the volleyball team this year.