The OPRF volleyball players gather together during a match. (Courtesy Gloria Quinones-Garcia)

Regardless of what happens the rest of the season under first-year head coach Kelly Collins, the Oak Park and River Forest High School girls volleyball team has already swept rivals Trinity and Fenwick.

That’s two coveted wins and considerable bragging rights in town for the Huskies.

OPRF (7-16, 0-1 West Suburban Silver) opened the season with a 25-21, 25-23 victory at Trinity and defeated visiting Fenwick 25-20, 25-22 on Sept. 7. Senior outside hitter Abby Zarosl had a team-high 11 kills and three aces against the Friars. Teammates Mireya Garcia (7 kills) and Jordan Mrkvicka (21 assists, 2 aces) also played key roles against Fenwick.

OPRF graduated six key players including Allie Nelson and Ariel Hamby from last year’s 18-19 squad. Nelson is playing college volleyball this season at Kansas while Hamby is playing at Eastern Michigan University.

Zarosl, Garcia and Mrkvicka will look to fill the leadership void left by Nelson and Hamby.

Senior middle hitter Bella Perez, sophomore  middle hitter Zora Barnett and liberos Megan Krikau and Ella Dunavan have contributed as well this season.

Unfortunately, junior outside hitter Maeve Nelson is out for the season with a shoulder injury. Nelson, arguably the best all-around athlete at OPRF, led the Huskies to a Class 4A softball state title last spring

Annilee Zeilmann, Hayden Benson, Sylvia Battersby, Renae Tourtellotte, Ale Sleuwen and Mallorie Selvage round out the roster.

“With losing players to graduation, we will be a young and inexperienced team this season,” Collins said. “However, what we may lack in experience will be made up for with strong skill set on the outside with Abby and Mireya. We are looking for Jordan to be our leader and run the offense.

“We also expect some younger players to step up and fill some big roles for us this season.”

The Huskies visit Hinsdale Central Tuesday, Sept. 20 in a conference match before returning home to take on Riverside-Brookfield Thursday, Sept. 22 in the OPRF Field House. Both matches start at 5:30 p.m.

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Marty Farmer

The Illinois Press Association recently honored Marty with the 1st & 2nd Place Awards for Best Sports Feature for his article He's in an Oak Park state of mind: Former OPRF star Iman Shumpert returns...