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Volleyball preview: New coach likes Panthers' prospects

Published: Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013 11:06 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013 11:12 a.m. CDT
(Matthew Piechalak)
Glenbard North senior captain Stephanie Tobison tracks a ball during practice on Tuesday. Matthew Piechalak –

CAROL STREAM – A couple of years ago, Jenny Farinella started her own club volleyball program.

Now the Lake Park High School graduate gets her first shot at a high school gig as she tries to breathe some life into the Glenbard North girls program.

“I was hired to build the program,” said Farinella, who is the owner of the Dynamic Impact Volleyball Club in Schaumburg. “I’m really excited. So far, I feel like things are going really well. We are really progressing as a program and it’s really exciting to see growth in a short amount of time.”

Farinella inherits a team that returns a strong core, led by senior outside hitter Stephanie Tobison. Junior middle Nicole Tobison and senior setter Angela Ravanesi also return.

“Stephanie has played club her whole life, since she was real young,” the coach said, “and I think she has some Division I prospects. She is a really good player.”

Expected to run a 6-2 offense with two setters at the start, senior Marissa Bettinger will also handle some of the setting duties. In the back row, senior libero Gianna Chesrow and junior defensive specialist Sarah Peters should lead the defense.

“I think we will be strong offensively,” Farinella said. “We have some strong hitters and we have some height. And I do have a senior libero. Gianna didn’t play last year but she looks good.”

The new coach and her squad didn’t get to spend a ton of time together in the summer. But according to Farinella, the transition has been very smooth.

“They have been really accepting,” she said, “and they’ve been really bonding as a team, which is great because we have some younger players (3 sophomores).”

As for a key to success, like most volleyball coaches, she points to one thing.

“Definitely serve-receive,” Farinella said. “If we can get our serve-receive down, our hitters will be really able to put the ball away.”

Not entirely familiar with the DuPage Valley Conference, the first-year coach does understand it is an extremely strong league. She expects the Panthers to be competitive this fall, though the end-all, be-all won’t be their final record.

“I really just want to bring the program together,” Farinella added. “Obviously I want some wins but I want to see growth in the program as a whole. I want them to play competitively and to play together as a team. And I think I will be able to help make that happen.”

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