Hannan volleyball powering through injury plagued start

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Building a team is a process.

Especially when the team is dealing with the losses of experienced seniors from last season and key players from this year’s squad due to injury.

While the Hawks remain talented, inexperience has given them trouble at times early in the season.

Despite the hardship, the Archbishop Hannan Hawks’ volleyball team has gotten off to a typically strong, if somewhat inconsistent, start.

The latest test was the prestigious McGill-Toolen tournament in Alabama where the Hawks finished 3-3.

Hannan coach Rebekka Bonnaffee said while the Hawks pulled off a great win, the performance was up-and-down overall.

“It was a tough tournament, we had some tough competition. It was a good experience, but we need to learn to play a little more consistently,” Bonnaffee said. “We beat the team that won the whole tournament, we were their only loss. But we lost to a couple of teams that w could have beat and one that we should have beat.

“We need to learn to play at our highest level all the time.”

The potential is there for the Hawks. Junior Allee Morris, named to the all-tournament team, has been dominant this season, junior libero Mia Migliore has been a defensive wizard and junior setter Grace Lagalante has provided Morris and the rest of the offense with perfect passes to power the Hawks offense.

“(Morris) is stepping up. There is a definite difference when she is in the front row,” Bonnaffee said. “(Migliore) is doing an awesome job making sure we get the ball up to actually get it to (Morris) and then Grace is feeding her the ball from anywhere on the court.”

But inexperience and injuries have certainly been an issue for the Hawks.

Junior outside hitter Mikalya Boyer has been out all season with a torn ACL and senior outside hitter Mary Grunfeld has been out dealing with injuries as well.

“We have a ton of overall volleyball experience, but only two girls really got a ton of playing time for us last year,” Bonnaffee said. “It’s different in high school. To me, it’s a little more intense.”

Bonnaffee said replacing Boyer has gone well, but is still a work in progress. 

“They’re working hard and trying hard, but they have big shoes to fill and they didn’t get a whole lot of playing time last year so they are learning from scratch,” Bonnaffee said.

The Hawks continue their season Tuesday night when they travel to Mt. Carmel before hosting Country Day on Wednesday.

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