Glenbrook South girls volleyball coach Katie Hoover called junior outside hitter Cory Klapacz an emerging leader.
“This year, she came back really ready to earn the top spot,” Hoover said. “She’s just a really, really hardworking kid.”
Hoover said the team, 16-6 as of Sept. 26, has a core group of veteran players as well as a few sophomores that have infused the team with a dynamic skill set.
“We have experience blended with youthful energy,” she said. “I’ve been impressed by how much our sophomore class has been able to contribute.”
“I also think this team has a lot of chemistry,” she added.
She said the group trusts each other and is focused on its common goal.
The team’s setting and defense have been consistent, Hoover said, and the group has challenged opponents with its aggressive serving and quick offense.
“We’ve been able to execute some advanced offensive plays that have kept our opponents scrambling on defense a bit,” she said.
Klapacz said the group’s rapport is a big reason for the success of the faster offense. Many of the girls have been playing together at least two years, she said.
“Knowing that you all have the same goal is really helpful and kind of reinforces your confidence,” Klapacz said.
As things click for the team, being quicker on offense gives the team’s opponents less time to react and means more kills, she said.
Hoover said co-captain and setter Shannon Carroll is another hard worker who makes key decisions for the team.
Hoover said blocking also is one of the team’s priorities, as the Titans want to make sure points aren’t lost to unforced errors.
“If you can control what goes on on your side of the floor, you can control the game,” she said.
Hoover said Klapacz has benefitted from playing varsity as a sophomore and club volleyball in Evanston. Playing year-round — which Klapacz said she’s done since seventh grade — has better developed her hitting.
“You’re always working to improve,” Klapacz said. “So there really is no break.”
She sees her passing as a strength, “and I think that’s where it all kind of started for me.” But she hopes to become a more consistent player overall.
“I can’t just decide to be on one game and be off the next,” Klapacz said.