Defensive specialists supply more than just digs for GW

Fire and pep.

That’s what GW women’s volleyball head coach Susie Homan said senior captain Angela Vitale and sophomore Devin Cahill, GW’s two defensive specialists, provide the team.

As back-row players, they keep the ball alive and the momentum of the game going by digging the ball, passing to the setter, moving quickly, and chasing everything that gets past the front-line players.

As defensive specialists, Vitale and Cahill do not always play, substituting in and out. That gives them an opportunity to study their opponents’ tendencies so they can help the team counterattack. Vitale has amassed more than 217 digs during her 237 games at GW, while Cahill has recorded 93 digs in 105 games.

“Angela’s biggest improvement is her ability to put less pressure on herself and just play the game,” Homan said. “She had too much information to deal with her earlier years.”

Vitale said she finds comfort in her team on and off the court. She believes one of her greatest accomplishments in volleyball has been the relationships she’s developed with her teammates.

“We have our ups and downs, but we love to work together,” Vitale said. “I make sure the team stays focused and together and has fun as a team. Having fun and staying focused makes a winning team.”

Homan said Vitale makes an ideal captain.

“Angela provides a different sense of leadership and possesses high demands for her teammates,” she said.

“I look up to Angela a lot, she is an amazing girl,” Cahill said. “She helped me so much last year.”

Cahill is the other main defensive specialist for GW and has improved since her freshman year, Homan said.

“Devin has become more aggressive and efficient with her foot work,” Homan said.

Cahill said she feels a lot of pressure on and off the court to do well. On the court, how well she performs determines if and when she plays. And off the court, she finds it difficult to manage her practices and academics. But when she has to push herself, Cahill finds support in her teammates.

“I love my team and they make the dedication worth it. They work just as hard as I do,” she said.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.