Zach Winn

Equinox Staff


The Keene State College Women’s Volleyball team has been exceeding expectations all season to make the playoffs and hope to keep momentum going into the playoffs.

“I think it’s [the season] been going really good,” junior hitter Meryl Ragaini said.

“They’re all really young players so can’t complain with how they’ve played so far,” Ragaini said.

The third-seeded Owls will play the sixth-seeded team, which is unknown, on Oct. 30 to open postseason play.

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The team entered the season with modest expectations.  With nine incoming freshmen on their 14-player roster, Head Coach Bob Weiner said this year is a rebuilding one for the team.

But the freshmen have learned to play at the college level faster than anyone could have predicted and are reaping the benefits.

“We’ve picked it up so much,” freshman starter Angela Silveri said of her team’s improvements.

“In the beginning we had a rough start because we were so young, but we’ve worked together to grow and now we’re clicking more and we’re doing a lot better.” Silveri added.

He acknowledged he’s having a lot of fun with this young team.

“It’s the greatest thing in the world,” Weiner explained.

“The girls don’t know what its like to be in the playoffs.  But they really like to play, they enjoy playing volleyball.”

It’s easy to have fun when you’re winning.

The team is 14-12 overall and has won five of their last seven games.

The team’s offense may be its strong suit, but Silveri said he sees another aspect of the game she thinks her team does well.

“Definitely communication,” Silveri said.

“We always talk to each other and without that we wouldn’t play well, but were really good communicators in terms of just telling each other what’s open and where to go and just try to be a positive influence,” she concluded.

The team shared  excitement as they anticipate the postsean with high expectations when they mentioned the finals as their dream destination.

It wasn’t like this on day one.

In an interview with Weiner a month ago he said it would take time.  He recalls his early prediction.

“I figured from the beginning it was going to take about eight weeks to learn each others styles,” Weiner said.  “They just needed some time on the court together and for us we needed to figure out where everyone was going to play.”

Four players who didn’t start in the beginning of the season are now starting.  Five players are currently playing a position they didn’t come into the year playing—a shuffle that has made for some learning curves.

“As a junior, I have no problem giving up playing time to a freshman,” Ragaini said.  “If they deserve to be on the court, they should be on it.”

Playing in an unfamiliar role is always easier when you have the support of the team, and the older girls have been extremely helpful this year.

So, after being locked into the third seed, the team plays the waiting game.  They have challenges ahead of them, with so little postseason experience.

Health issues have also plagued the team at times this season.

But they’ve already come so far it’s hard to imagine any outcome being a failure.

“We’ve improved so much since the beginning of the season and it’s really nice to see such a drastic change so early,” Silveri said.

“Just knowing we have another four years together makes it that much more fun.”


Zach Winn can be contacted



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