The Liberty volleyball coach can be seen during the non-league schedule heading around town with a camera under her arm ready to tape an opponent’s match on an off night and watch, learn and then teach.
After the Patriots went to Las Vegas for a tournament earlier this month, Parker made quick note that for Liberty to be successful, it needs to be more aggressive.
That was on full display Tuesday night at home as Liberty recorded 21 aces in a 25-12, 25-22, 25-11 sweep over Frontier to open Southwest Yosemite League play.
“It’s not always an ace, but I feel we serve the ball fairly aggressively,” Parker said. “If you don’t serve tough, they are going to shove it down your throat. We work in practice to serve aggressive balls to take teams out of system.”
The rain of aces began early for Liberty (11-6, 1-0 SWYL), first with Elise Ferreira, who recorded four of the nine aces in the first set to open up on a 5-0 run.
“One big thing for us is to start the rally,” Ferreira said. “You want to find the balance of taking them out of system and not giving them another point. Serving aggressive is key for us. We practice a lot. Being able to take them out of system so much and serve a correct area on the court where they are vulnerable really helps us and gives us an advantage.”
Ferreira, who celebrated her 17th birthday on Tuesday, wasn’t alone. Six different Liberty players record double-digit aces with sophomores Kaiah Sentes and Sutton Coffey adding four each and Liana and
Jaleesa Caroccio both serving up three aces.
“It’s practice and seeing the court,” Ferreira said. “It’s seeing where they are better and serve to where they are vulnerable. Our team is really good at seeing that.”
Frontier came back in the second set and led 19-17 before Liberty ended on an 8-3 run and took a 2-0 lead.
“I told them in game 2, we can’t expect to have nine aces,” Parker said.
With Coffey on the serve, Liberty went on an 8-0 run early in the third set, cruising to the sweep.
“Giving up aces like that has never been a struggle for us,” Frontier coach Morgan Dake said. “They totally took us out of our system. Hats off to them.”
Liberty, the defending Central Section Division I champions, has now won 20 of the last 21 SWYL matches dating back to 2015.
“That’s always good. But every year is a new start,” Ferreira said. “This year we are 1-0. We can’t look back at last year. We are a completely different team. This is a big opportunity to take advantage this year.”
Ferreira also added nine kills, 12 assists, 10 digs and two blocks while senior Lauryn Burt had a team-high 10 kills, six digs and 12 assists.
“I have great leaders and you can’t ask for a better tandem than Lauryn and Elise,” Parker said. “I’d stack them up against anyone in town.”