Restrepo leads Exeter deep into the playoffs

It has been a successful year to say the least for the Exeter Township Senior High School girls’ volleyball team. They’ve only lost once in over 20 matches, and from the looks of things, they plan to keep steamrolling in the playoffs.

One person in particular among the myriad of seniors that is helping the Lady Eagles have so much success this season is setter Shannon Restrepo.

“Now that we’re pretty deep into the playoffs, all we can do is try and advance as far as we can, hopefully make it to the state finals and see Hempfield again,’ said Restreop.’ Hempfield is the only loss that Exeter suffered, coming on Oct. 30.

Restrepo said that the team’s play has improved from the regular season into the post season.

“It’s definitely been a lot better,’ she said. “We haven’t had too many tough games in the post season so far, and it’s been a lot more competitive. We’re ready to play and a more excited when we’re faced with stiffer competition. We’re constantly improving and getting better as a unit.’

According to the senior, the post season has been a lot more stressful than any of the regular season matches have been.

“When we come up against some more difficult competition, it is kind of a shock to the system for a moment or two,’ said Restrepo. “It’s a lot harder and much more competitive.’

In preparation for those playoff games that are yet to be, Restrepo said the team is getting ready for them in a different way than they would if it were a regular season match.

“We’re definitely taking things a bit more serious,’ she said. “Practices are a bit harder, and we try and practice hard to be prepared for the games. We want to make sure what we do in practice shows in a game time situation. We’re also making sure that we hustle and are giving our best no matter what we’re doing.’

Before making it to the playoffs, the Lady Eagles first dispatched the Lady Saints of Berks Catholic High School in the Berks League championship.

“We lost to them last season and beat them in my sophomore year, and making it to the championship was most definitely a goal of ours,’ said Restrepo. “It was a hard-fought match, and we went to five games. If we would have lost, most of our team would have been extremely upset. They’re our rivals, and we want to beat them because we lost to them last season.’ The senior noted that when it came down to it, Berks Catholic was a more than worthy opponent.

“I loved the whole experience (of the championship game). The crowd was huge, and it was a great atmosphere to be in.’

Restrepo said that she didn’t feel too much pressure heading into the match up, but the need for the win was there in her. She commented, “Knowing I would be pretty frustrated if we didn’t win was enough to get me going.’

This isn’t Restrepo’s first time in the playoffs, but said the experience has been a little different.

“When we were sophomores, we didn’t really know what was going on,’ sher said. “We were all in awe of our situation. Now that we are older and know what it’s worth, and that we’re here, it’s a much more different situation. As for the younger players, I feel like they’re in our shoes when we were them. They’re along for the ride, however, they want it as much as we older players do.’ Restrepo continued that the younger girls are really excited for the team to be where it is, and they do everything they can to put the whole team’s mindset where it should be.

Restrepo believes that she plays a role as a leader on the team, even though her position of setter may not be the most attractive on the squad.

“I do as much as I can to keep our squad pumped up and motivated,’ said Restrepo. “I want to make sure that we’re mentally prepared because of how deep our season has gone, and I want to and try to push my team as far as we can go.’

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