GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Wright stays focused for Portage girls volleyball

2013-09-09T21:00:00Z 2013-09-12T22:28:07Z Wright stays focused for Portage girls volleyballPaul Oren Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
September 09, 2013 9:00 pm  • 

PORTAGE | Mariah Wright has always loved the game of volleyball. The Portage senior just didn’t realize how much until she went all-in.

Wright started her high school career as a three-sport athlete, but once Portage coach Brian Zofkie arrived on campus, volleyball became the top priority.

At Zofkie’s urging, Wright started playing club volleyball for Diamond Elite, and the game made much more sense.

“Playing club has helped me become a better player both on and off-the-court,” Wright said. “I’m much more committed to practice now and improving in every aspect of my game. My passing is 100 percent better now from what is used to be.”

Zofkie has preached club volleyball to whoever would listen since he took over the Indians prior to the start of the 2011 season. The former St. Norbert (Wis.) football player believes that playing volleyball year-round is the best way to grow the program.

“It’s hard to compete with the schools like Chesterton, Valparaiso and LaPorte when they are playing club,” Zofkie said. “We need to close that gap. Mariah had never played club before and you can definitely see the difference.”

Focusing solely on volleyball was just the start for Wright. Zofkie recognized Wright’s leadership as a sophomore and moved her from middle to outside hitter, where Wright could play all-around. Entering her third year as an outside hitter, Wright is still looking for ways to improve her game and Zofkie is right there with the answers.

“Coach has us watch film each night and that really helps,” Wright said. “We’ll watch at least 20 minutes from each match and when I make a mistake; I’ll go back and watch the mistake. I’ll figure out what I did wrong and I’ll make the corrections.”

The video breakdown comes from Zofkie’s days as a college football player and it’s another way that the Indians are trying to close the gap with the rest of the Duneland Athletic Conference. Portage made some noise in sectional play last year, knocking out Hobart in the first round before falling 16-14 to Michigan City in the fifth set of the semifinals.

Wright and senior teammate Josi Auksel have made it a goal this year to go deeper in the postseason while hoping to create some headlines that will rival those of their conference rivals.

“We see all the stories in the paper and that’s motivation for us,” Wright said. “That makes us want to fight even harder. I feel like a lot of teams are opening their eyes to us now and that we’ll be ready to go a lot farther this season.”

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Which school has the area's best girls tennis team?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News

Latest Local Offers

Featured Businesses