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Prep Volleyball Notepad: Black–Hawks making believers
Earlier this season, Brooke Point volleyball coach Terri Starliper asked her players to identify some goals.
Some players said they would like to defeat Colonial Forge for the first time ever, even though they knew it would not happen easily.
Starliper then shared her own goal with the Black–Hawks. She told them she wanted them to become one of the top three teams in the Commonwealth District. The players looked puzzled.
“They said: ‘Are you serious? That’s crazy. There’s no way,’” Starliper recalled. “I told them if they play their game and play well, they could definitely be top-three.”
It’s still early, and Brooke Point has yet to navigate the most difficult part of its schedule, but all indications are that the coach’s dream is not so far-fetched.
Brooke Point, which finished seventh in the eight-team Commonwealth District a year ago, is 7–1 this season, and Starliper is seeing improvement each day.
“I’m still getting them to believe that this can be a reality,” she said.
Starliper coached at Mountain View before taking a five-year break to spend time with her family. She knew it would be a challenge to develop Brooke Point’s program, and that the Black–Hawks’ volleyball skills were rather raw, but she also knew there was no lack of athleticism.
“We knew we just had to teach them volleyball,” she said. “And I’m even surprised by how well they’ve been doing.”
The Black–Hawks already have wins over Massaponax and defending district champion North Stafford. Their only loss came against Colonial Forge, in a tight four-game match.
The next two weeks will be the most trying, however. Brooke Point faces Albemarle on Tuesday, with matches looming against Riverbend and Colonial Forge.
“Our biggest thing is just sticking together and playing well for the entire 25 points,” Starliper said. “We have lulls, and we have to be more consistent if we want to win against Albemarle. But if we play well and focus on our side of the court, we won’t have to worry about the other side.”