It’s going to take a little time for the Fenwick volleyball team to get adjusted to one another, but already this season’s young Friars have made progress.

With the help of first-year head coach Kelly Colangelo, hired in April to replace the departed Eileen Asmussen, inexperience doesn’t seem to be a problem for this young team. Colangelo had been an assistant coach at UIC for the past two years before coaching at Marist High School. The three-time Academic All Big Ten recipient brings a wealth of volleyball experience and knowledge to a youthful varsity team.

After falling to Hinsdale Central to begin the season, the Friars (2-5) immediately bounced back to crush Young 25-19, 25-16. Marty Acton’s 12 digs led the way for the Friars. Acton, a returning starter from last year plays libero. The senior recorded 30 digs in two games to start the season.

Carriann Soukal, who served four aces in the victory over young, is a junior defensive specialist. Other players looking to make an impact this season include sophomores Jenna Vondrasek and Sarah Hunt. Vondrasek is a setter, while Hunt plays middle blocker.

“Sarah is new to the position and to varsity but has played in a fearless manner, hitting at a .429 clip against Young,” said Colangelo. “We are a young team but these players are hard working and determined, and I think we will surprise some conference opponents.”

On Saturday at the Prairie Ridge Tournament, the Friars went 1-4. Fenwick lone victory came over Barrington, 25-22, 25-20. The team lost hard-fought battles to Prairie Ridge (25-15, 25-18), St. Charles East (25-23, 25-20), Naperville Central (25-7, 25-14) and Cary Grove (25-18, 25-10). Acton finished the day with 44 digs.

“We had five sophomores [playing] in this tournament with three seeing consistent playing time,” said Colangelo. “I am confident that competing at such a high level will only help us in the long run.”

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Brad Spencer

Brad Spencer has been covering sports in and around Oak Park for more than a decade, which means the young athletes he once covered in high school are now out of college and at home living with their parents...