Girls Volleyball Program At Berean Christian Is On The Upswing

(L-R) Kaylee Kovacs, Renee Brown, Chelsea Christian, Annika Uhren, Ashley Hendricks, Lily Young, Evelyn Vejvoda, Emily Buerkle, Malia Johnson and coach Jen Buerkle. Photo by Paige Hazera

Jen Buerkle, the head coach of Berean Christian School’s varsity girls volleyball team, is having success as she establishes a winning and competitive culture for girls volleyball on the Bulldog campus.

Through the first 11 games of the current season, Berean is 8-3.

Now in her second year as the team’s head coach, Buerkle has noticed an upgraded commitment to the sport of girls volleyball by the players on this year’s varsity roster: Renee Brown, Emily Buerkle, Chelsea Christian, Ashley Hendricks, Malia Johnson, Kaylee Kovacs, Annika Uhren, Evelyn Vejvoda and Lily Young.

“All of the girls are naturally competitive,” Buerkle said. “We go over a lot of skill techniques. Several of the girls play club volleyball and half the girls are on our beach volleyball team, so this helps us to be more competitive during the indoor season.”

Winning is a by-product of Buerkle’s high-level coaching.

“Having five wins in a row has been the highlight of this season,” Buerkle said. “I know we didn’t accomplish this last year, and I don’t remember another Berean varsity volleyball team in recent history having that accomplishment.”

Through the team’s first 10 games, Ashley Hendricks leads the squad with 24 total blocks, Annika Uhren has the most digs with 77, Lily Young is the team leader with 74 kills, Emily Buerkle has the squad’s most aces with 20 and Renee Brown is team leader in assists with 163.

In order to get better in the latter part of the regular season, Berean will be playing higher-level competition, starting with the Palm Beach Classic Volleyball Tournament, which is being held at John I. Leonard High School this weekend. According to Buerkle, her squad will play John I. Leonard, Braddock, West Broward, and Port St. Lucie in the Palm Beach Classic. Then, from Sept. 30 through Oct. 1, Berean will travel to Winter Haven to play in the Sunshine Athletic Conference Tournament.

When Berean plays in the Florida High School Athletic Association Class 2A district tournament in mid-October, the Bulldogs might advance into the Class 2A regional tournament and beyond now that there has been a change in the culture of girls volleyball at the school.