Northampton Press

Monday, January 20, 2020
Press photo by Linda RothrockBrooke Rockovits has been a key player for the Kids volleyball team this season. Press photo by Linda RothrockBrooke Rockovits has been a key player for the Kids volleyball team this season.

Volleyball sits at 6-4 so far this year

Thursday, September 26, 2019 by Steve andres Special to the Press in Sports

When assessing this season’s Northampton girls volleyball team, the word unity is at the forefront of the discussion.

“They play together as a team and they have that talent,” said head coach Jess Finlayson.

It’s what’s propelled the Kids to a 6-4 mark so far this year.

And when that togetherness is combined with experience, wins like the one they had against Parkland, a first in their program’s history, have been the result.

“I think that’s making a big difference in the play of our team this year,” said Finlayson.

Finlayson said that she has a talented senior class that’s been vital to their success, with setter Sydney Heffner and outside hitter Brooke Rockovits, both of whom have been varsity players since their freshmen seasons, leading the way. She said that both players have played big roles. Additionally, Rockovits’ versatility and athleticism allows her to slip into the libero spot when needed this season.

“She’s all over the place,” said Finlayson. “She works so hard and never stops, and that’s someone any coach wants on their team.”

They also have seniors Jessica Begliomini and Kayla Best who also bring a wealth of talent and leadership to the court.

Their potent lineup also includes junior Alexa Barowski. Barwoski is a middle hitter who’s leading the team in hitting percentage. As Finlayson explained, to arrive at a player’s hitting percentage, one takes the kills, minus the errors, and then divides it by the number of attempts. She said that anything above 20% is very good, and Barowski is currently at 37-percent. She’s been the engine in the middle of their lineup this season.

They also get big production at the net from outside hitter Lindsey Nemeth. The junior sits behind Barwoski in hitting percentage and is a valuable piece in their attack. Finlayson said that Nemeth has the ability to make a play on balls that maybe aren’t textbook passes.

“She’s someone you can throw the ball up to and she can do something good with it,” said Finlayson.

With their recent loss to Bethlehem Catholic, Finlayson cautioned her team to remember that they can’t be satisfied with that alone. While Parkland was an emotional win, she wants them to stay hungry.

“You can’t be OK with beating one good team,” she said.

If they stay committed to playing together, more wins like that will come.

“My girls have done nothing but impress me with how well they play together,” said Finlayson. “We are a team to contend with this season and I can’t wait to see how the rest of the season progresses.”