The Quinnipiac volleyball ball team has been bumping, setting, and spiking their way through the season. It has been a bit of a struggle for the team so far on paper but emotionally, they are where they want to be.
“Compared to last year, we have really improved as a team. Right now we are warming up for conference play”, said senior outside hitter Crista Valentino.
This young team, composed of 6 freshmen, 1 junior and 3 seniors, has seen its share of ups and downs throughout the season. They suffered their 14th loss of season to Iona last Wednesday. This gave the team a record of 1-14. However, these losses don’t seem to be affecting the girls’ play.
Kayla Lawler, the team’s freshman setter stated, “Our biggest goal now is to finish at the top of the conference.”
Quinnipiac has played some very good teams such as Iona, Stony brook, Bryant, and Providence college. Their only win came against Morgan State back on Aug. 29th. Head coach Robin Sparks, has been making changes to the team’s play in order to make them more efficient when facing teams like these and in the future.
“We started with a new defense. We looked at film and saw the goods and bads and made this new defense to accommodate our team more. It’s going to be a defense that once were used to, hopefully we will be more comfortable and be stronger”, said Sparks.
These girls haven’t known or played with each other for a very long time but that doesn’t affect them at all according to the senior, Valentino.
“Obviously there’s a difference in our age, but it doesn’t differ out play. Our team chemistry is excellent on and off the court”, said Valentino.
The freshmen girls are starting to get used to collegiate play after a huge jump up from playing in high school.
Freshman Kayla Lawler stated, “The biggest challenge so far has been adapting to college play. We have never played college before, and it’s a totally different game than in high school.”
One blessing for the team so far in the season is that there haven’t been any injuries to set them back.
“We haven’t had any major injuries, and we don’t plan on having any. We can’t afford to have any”, said Lawler.
Along with Valentino and Lawler, there have been other players who have stepped up and really contributed to the team such as freshman middle hitter, Shelagh Dolan.
“Freshman Shelagh Dolan has really been sticking out over the past couple of games. Tonight, she hit over.300, which is really good”, said coach Sparks.
Although individual players such as Dolan have stepped up big for the team as of late, the girls see each other as complete equals.
“The team is all equals.no one is better than the whole. Everyone brings something different. People were brought in to fit all of the team goals. It really shows in Coach Sparks’ decisions”, said Lawler.
No matter what a team’s record is, there is always room for improvement. Coach Sparks had some words for improvement on what the team can do for the rest of the season.
Sparks stated, “We have to work well as a group from here on out. We have the skill, but we have to be smarter with the ball on the court.”
Overall, the girls may not like the record that they have on paper but are very pleased with what has happened between them this season. They are very content and have the highest of spirits as they progress through the rest of the season.
“I am happy where we are at with the season,” said Sparks.