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The Greeley Voice

The Greeley Voice

Horace Greeley’s Varsity Volleyball Sweep

Charles Peterson
Junior Ace Tillotson (10) sets a ball for Junior Claire Fallon (11)

With an astounding record last season, Horace Greeley’s volleyball team radiates excitement as they prepare for this year’s season. Last year, the team was able to place as a 2022 Class A finalist at sectionals, losing by a very small margin to Lakeland. They were also awarded 2022 Colleague Champs. Although disappointed with their loss, the team was proud of how far they had gotten; that pride proved to transform into ambition as the team prepared for playoffs this season.

Sophomore Jaida Cekic (9) and Junior Ace Tillotson (11) blocking in their win over Fox Lane (Charles Peterson)
Greeley Volleyball defends a ball in their semifinal win over Fox Lane (Charles Peterson)

This year, the volleyball team was composed of 12 members: 2 seniors, 6 juniors, 3 sophomores, and 1 freshman. An incredibly dynamic team composed of a variety of talents and skills, Greeley Volleyball is led by coach Daniela Castro alongside junior varsity coach Theresa Swartfager. They are ready to take on any challenge, boasting an impressive 7 – 0 record to kick off the season.
Junior Hope Suh was the sole captain of Greely Volleyball. As the libero of the team—a player who functions as a defensive specialist and is not allowed to serve or rotate to the front line—Hope is a very passionate leader. Having been on the team since her freshman year, Hope shared both her ideas regarding the goals of the team as a whole and personal growth that she hopes to see: “I want to continue growing as a leader, so that I can help inspire my teammates even during rough moments,” she explains, pointing out how volleyball is a sport of mistakes. The only way to grow is to make a mistake and learn from it. Mindset is very important in the game of volleyball; Hope voices, “I also hope to become a player that my teammates can always depend on.”
From the jump, Hope believed strongly that the team would win Sectionals and shoot for States, and it was clear her confidence was a key component in achieving that goal. The team seems to have a promising future when looking at the tremendous growth of each individual player; everyone has put in all their effort both on and off the court and it was reflected in their gameplay. She admits that last year, many of the team members “weren’t expecting to go as far as to Sectionals.” However, their mindset had shifted this year. “We had a confidence that we can do as well, or even better, during this season,” Hope confirms. Senior and varsity returner Rose Kory also shared her perspective, explaining, “One of the best things we had going for us year is the experience. We know what it’s like to win and we know some tough losses. Last year no one was expecting us to make it to sectional finals. This year, the team knows what it’s like to be so close to winning sections and had so much fight going further.”

Junior Ace Tillotson (11) lofts a ball over Fox Lane

A major influencing factor for their further success this year can be found in what Hope describes to be the team’s camaraderie. Hope explains, “The team itself is very closely knit and this chemistry is drawn out during the games.” With the support of one another and from the coaches, each player’s capability and skill is highlighted during each game. Everyone has a role to play on the team.
Hope asserts that one important aspect of their success would be the team bondings. This year, the team had the opportunity to travel to Lake George and stay overnight to play volleyball and have fun with one another. “It helped draw us together and foster a relationship,” explains Hope, and this dynamic continued on throughout the season. After games, the team finds themselves going out for ice cream to celebrate, or having sleepover parties to spend quality time together. “Our team bondings are really about talking and getting to know each other,” Hope says, offering further insight. “These really aid us in practice and games when we want to run faster plays.” The chemistry of the team has undeniably been an important part of their success.
Georgia Tasso, a sophomore player for the varsity team who has just made the team this year, shares her story and view on the team. Tryouts were a stressful time for Georgia, but when she made varsity, she was ecstatic, describing that she “admired how far varsity got last year” and was extremely excited for the upcoming season.

Junior Claire Fallon prepares to serve

Georgia’s personal goals align with her abilities on the court. “I want to be less timid on the court and to have more confidence in my own playing,” she explains. Rose also holds similar goals for herself this season, sharing, “My personal goals are to focus on the mental part of the game. I think a lot of people on the team can relate to me when I say that the actual playing is the easier part of the game. Staying out of your head when you mess up or when the team needs someone else is challenging.”
Like Hope, Georgia emphasized the importance of team bondings. “The team is very well rounded; everyone is comfortable with one another and we all get along well. This helped us have a better dynamic on and off the court,” she explains, reflecting on her growing bond with teammates. When individual team members feel supported as a player, both by their teammates and by the coaches, the team as a whole is able to succeed and improve.

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About the Contributors
Elizabeth Xiu, Columnist Writer
Elizabeth, a junior, is a columnist for The Greeley Voice. Some clubs she's involved in include Science Greeley and AAPIA. In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys playing piano, reading, hiking, traveling, and baking.  
Amy Feng
Amy Feng, Head of Video
Amy Feng is a junior at Horace Greeley High School and the Head of Video for The Greeley Voice. Amy enjoys writing about a variety of topic and has written for the Greeley Voice since her sophomore year, exploring a variety of topics. Outside of The Greeley Voice, Amy is involved with a multitude of other clubs, such as the debate team, the Science Olympiad team, and BSU. Amy enjoys a variety of other activities, such as volleyball and violin. One of Amy's favorite past time is taking her dogs out for hikes, while taking pictures of the scenery.
Charles Peterson, Photography Staff
Charlie is a junior and has been a photographer with the Quake--and now the Voice--since 9th grade. In addition to the Greeley Voice, Charlie is also a part of SHARE's Blood Drive branch. During his free time, he enjoys taking photos, especially of sports and nature, as well as writing.

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