CVU girls volleyball team wins first crown

The CVU state champion girls volleyball team poses with their trophy: Front row from left: Zoe Loucheim, Lisa Schold, Brianna Hake, Emily Geske, and Jeannine Bissonette. Back row from left: Coach Gino Johnson, Lauren Johnson, Alison Kahn, Olivia Bissett, Aliza Anderson, Nicole Israel-Mayer, Amanda Lugee, Natalie Maisha, Anna Johnson, and coach Dana Poulsen.

The CVU state champion girls volleyball team poses with their trophy: Front row from left: Zoe Loucheim, Lisa Schold, Brianna Hake, Emily Geske, and Jeannine Bissonette. Back row from left: Coach Gino Johnson, Lauren Johnson, Alison Kahn, Olivia Bissett, Aliza Anderson, Nicole Israel-Mayer, Amanda Lugee, Natalie Maisha, Anna Johnson, and coach Dana Poulsen.

By the CVU girls volleyball team

The future looks bright for the Champlain Valley Union (CVU) volleyball program. The high school’s Volleyball Club officially began this past August. More than 21 girls showed up, determined to work together as a team. Though many of the girls had no prior experience, hard work and determination led the team to a state title.

The Vermont Principals Association established volleyball as an exhibition sport for the next two years in hopes that, by the 2015 school year, volleyball will be recognized as a varsity sport in Vermont. CVU is one of nine teams playing in the exhibition sport.

“The girls walked into practice ready to learn and work hard,” CVU head coach Dana Poulsen said. “Those involved in the program realized that everyone would have to share opportunities and experiences on the court. I have been coaching varsity sports off and on since 1993, and these girls are the kindest and hardest working bunch I have ever had the pleasure to coach.”

To begin the State Championship tournament, the Redhawks played all four teams in the bracket. After winning every game, the team advanced to the semifinals to play Burlington High School. After a win in the first set, the team struggled and lost 15-5. The third set was the most stressful. Down 14-11, we had to win or the season would be over. Though Burlington had multiple game point opportunities, CVU never gave up and won 16-14 in a heart-stopping match. It is unknown how the team managed to push through, but fortunately, the volleyball squad made it to the finals.

In the State Championship against Essex High School, the team played as a cohesive unit and picked up momentum from the start. Our willingness to work as a team through every point allowed us to bring home the state title.

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