Riverside-Brookfield High School senior girls volleyball player Anasofia Zaper thought about Senior Night for quite a while.
“Ever since freshman year I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. Senior Night. A big deal,’” Zaper said. “It was amazing being with these girls on the court and being able to play with them. They all added so much to my year and this season.”
Oct. 11 turned out even better than she anticipated.
The Bulldogs beat Ridgewood 27-25, 25-15 to maintain their share of first place in the Metro Suburban Conference Red.
RBHS (13-18, 6-1) the defending conference champions, then won the title outright by beating Westmont in straight sets 25-19, 25-18 in the conference finale on Oct. 18.
“I think it made it so much more special,” senior libero Kira Conroy said. “Since you’re a freshman you’re always wondering, what is my Senior Night going to be like? And the game really mattered because we want to win conference. We just wanted to play as best as possible and I think it was a really memorable night and a great night for everybody.”
Under first-year coach Caitlin Staib-Lipinski, the Bulldogs have seven varsity seniors – Kira Conroy, Sophia Cozzone, Reagan Mulcrone, Sammi Reeze, Christina Savaglio, Elise Verdin and Zaper.
Mulcrone (6 kills), Conroy (15 digs, 18 serve receives), Cozzone (3 kills, 7 digs, 4 blocks) and Verdin (6 digs, 10 serve receives) were key contributors against Ridgewood (16-15, 3-2) along with sophomore Sofia Owens (6 kills, 4 blocks) and junior Annabel Krueger and freshman Claire Cameron (9 assists each).
The Bulldogs are 9-5 after a 4-13 start. These past 14 matches, they’ve used a two-setter offense after Cameron was promoted to varsity. That also allows Krueger to also play outside hitter.
“I feel like [Cameron] was our missing piece and now everybody can come together and play together even better,” Krueger said. “I like the power I have for setting, how much control I have, but hitting to me is just really fun. It’s kind of stress free and I don’t have to worry as much.”
The Bulldogs took seventh at Maine West’s Pumpkin Tournament on Oct. 15 by beating Maine West 27-25, 13-25, 25-21. They beat Lake Zurich and Addison Trail in pool play on Oct. 14.
Owens (9 kills, 3 blocks), Conroy (34 digs), Verdin (13 digs, 3 aces) and Cameron (13 assists, 13 digs) led the victory over Maine West.