To say that girls volleyball coach Vanessa Jeremenko has gotten off to a good start in her first year at Lynbrook is an understatement — not many coaches can say they have won their first 11 games as a head coach in any sport.
The 11-0 start by the Owls is made even more impressive by the fact that the girls were just 2-14 last season in Conference I. But Jeremenko is not shocked by the success of her team.
"I have seven seniors right now and they play really well together," the 28-year-old coach said. "They are used to playing hard and working through the troubles they have, and they just don't give up. We're a really well knit group."
That toughness was on full display Tuesday, as the girls came back from a big deficit in the third set to defeat Bethpage, 3-1.
"We have our ups and down but we fight through them," Jeremenko said.
Jeremenko started her career as an assistant coach at Molloy College, where she also played as an undergrad. She currently teaches elementary school in Queens and her last coaching job was with a middle school CYO league.
As for the Lady Owls, Jeremenko said the girls have a good set of skills, which has made it easy.
"They work well together and know their spots, and they listen," she said.
Shannon Baker, Caitlyn Christy, Amanda Coughlin, Nicolette Franco, Annamarie D'Agostino, Kasey Keller and Leslie Rodriguez make up the "super seven" for the Owls.
"It's the best feeling in the world — going from worst to first," Franco said.
Christy has "amazing serves" for the Owls and can get on a hot streak, compiling eight to 10 points in a row at times. Keller is more the leader of the team — aggressive, loud and energizing.
"They all just work really well together," Jeremenko said of her seniors. "And the fans are great. We wouldn't be where we are without them."
Five games remain for the Owls, with the big test coming against at home on Thursday, Oct. 13. The girls will be without two of their starters, due to injuries sustained in Tuesday's game, so the streak is in jeopardy. But Jeremenko remains hopeful.
"We're hoping the rest of the season can be hurt-free," Jeremenko said. "But if we do lose, we'll learn from it and just move on."