LINCOLN PARK — At Francis W. Parker School, field hockey reigns supreme when it comes to girls athletics in the fall.
But that may be beginning to change, thanks to the success the girls volleyball program has had in recent years, including two straight Class 2A regional titles.
"It was really big for the girls and for the whole program in general," said Sara Farias, who took over as the team's head coach this year after coaching junior varsity last year.
The team's success has been "super exciting" to see and has led more student interest in the sport, said the school's assistant athletic director Elisa Ryan.
"Once volleyball started having some success in 2012, the next year we had a full roster all of a sudden, so we're doing well," Ryan said. "It's a nice snowball effect."
Farias said that interest continued this year, with a number of students trying out for the team and also trickling in during the preseason.
But this season has come with a new set of challenges. Last year's team was mostly seniors who had played together for years, Farias said, and this year's roster is made up primarily of underclassmen. The team also has a new coaching staff, including Farias, so the players are still working on jelling and finding their rhythm, Farias said.
"We have a lot of new, fresh faces and girls that have not played before or haven't played together, so this is a big year for rebuilding for our team."
The team's next match is Sept. 16, when it will take on Morgan Park Academy. The match is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at Morgan Park, 2153 W. 111th St.
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