2016-12-05 / Sports

MVP Cote a hard-hitting force in 2016

By ALEX SPONSELLER
Associate Sports Editor

For the second straight season, the Biddeford volleyball team enjoyed a successful season while being led by an all-state senior … last year was Gatorade state player of the year Jocelyn Moody, this year it was Kendra Cote.

Perhaps Cote’s biggest strength was in her strength itself, proving to be one of the state’s hardest-hitting players in 2016.

“Kendra was our strongest offensive weapon on the court this year,” said Biddeford coach Chantel Tourigny. “The strength of her hits made playing defense against her very challenging. We were very successful in all the games where we could capitalize on her offense.”

Not only was Cote’s presence great during games, but her performance during practice also benefitted the rest of her team, as her elite play prepared the Tigers for any punch they would face.

“Kendra made us a stronger team offensively but she also had a huge impact on the strength of our defense. By facing her in practice we were able to prepare for any other hitter we would face throughout the season,” said Tourigny.

Although Cote is one of the most physically talented players in the state, she is also one of the most passionate. Having a player with such enthusiasm for the sport has made life easier for Tourigny.

“Kendra was both fun and challenging to coach. She thoroughly enjoys the game of volleyball, it is definitely her happy place. It is always fun to coach a player who loves the game.”

Cote enjoys the game thoroughly, however, she may enjoy winning and competition even more. This fire has made her a force to be reckoned with while also pumping up the teammates around her. Cote has developed into one of the Tigers’ best leaders throughout her four-year tenure, with 2016 being her breakout year.

“Her competitive drive and her need to win could be challenging at times. If we were losing and/or not playing well her frustration could at time escalate the problem as the younger players looked to her as an example,” said Tourigny. “In the past four years Kendra has improved drastically not only in her volleyball skills but also in her strength as a teammate.”

The Tigers face a tough challenge in replacing the talent that Cote leaves behind, but Tourigny has faith that her rising youngsters are up to the challenge.

“Kendra will be leaving us with a huge offensive void at middle blocker, but I think both Mia Martel and Grace Martin are excited about the challenge of filling it.”

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