The Stanislaus State Women’s Volleyball Team faced California State Monterey Bay for the second time on Saturday, October 6, 2018,. In the first match-up, the Warriors came out on top, winning the match three sets to zero. Unfortunately, the Warriors came up short in this rematch. The otters took the victory, winning three sets to one.
In reflecting on Saturday night's match, our Warriors saw a few areas that are in need of improvement. While the defense has been something that has fallen short in the past, that was not the main struggle in Saturday’s game.
Jordan Hillenbrand (Freshman, Liberal Studies), said, “I believe we weren't all mentally there. We talked about it after the match and we need to do a better job at staying focused and mentally staying in the match. It will help us get the outcome we want.”
Mya Marshall (Sophomore, Criminal Justice) agrees with her teammate, Hillenbrand. “As a team, I feel like we are in a rut, we need to work together as a unit. Be confident in not only ourselves, but in each other as well.”
Chelsey Berry (Sophomore, Communication Studies) saw a different weakness. “We played as individuals and weren’t playing defense as a team.” Berry believes that there were opportunities for a kill when one of her teammates would make a great pass, but it would not get put away. “It takes everyone.”
Rachel Klopfer (Sophomore, Physical Sciences) thought that the team’s defense fell short as it has in the past. “Defense is something we place a lot of emphasis on in practice because we have a tendency to rely solely on our offense to win games.”
Considering the game was a loss, it could be easy to look at what went wrong and what fell short, however, these women decided to focus more on their ups than their downs from Saturday’s game.
The strengths in this game were centered around the team’s offense. This seems to be a never-wavering skill of the team. The women are always ready to be aggressive and make an attack to earn a kill.
The women were high in energy as well during Saturday night’s game. One of the women on the team had a particularly high level of energy in the game that was noticed by other teammates of hers.
Hillenbrand says “A highlight that stood out to me was the fire and excitement Mya had throughout the whole match it definitely is contagious and we needed that throughout the game.”
Marshall was seen jumping, knees to chest, in elation every time that the Warriors did something well. The jumps were thrilling to watch and seemed to get higher in times of making a comeback against the Otters. It seemed her jumps were there to show the other team that they were still fighting, they were not giving up, and the energy was still there.
While Marshall’s energy was motivation building, Klopfer says that it was the long rallies that were the match highlight for her. “We definitely had some good hustle plays and we were winning the long rallies which is something we try to focus on. Winning long rallies can be a big momentum changer.”
The Warriors have been hard at work since the loss. They hit the ground running this week and are going back to the basics. This game has many fundamentals, and if they are not sharp, strong, and solid, then they can create a very quick downfall.
Berry says, “All week at practice we have been working on serve receive, defense, and offense. We are working on applying all of these key points into live play.” These components are essential to success in volleyball.
The women on this team have picked themselves up, brushed off the dust, and are ready to take on the rest of the season.
Hillenbrand feels that this loss can be used to drive herself, and her teammates, to victory and a strong ending to the season.
Berry believes that what doesn’t kill her, only makes her stronger. In her case, this is especially true as she is fresh back in the game off of an injury. She has a partially torn ligament in her wrist. Berry has been wearing a brace to keep it stable and prevent further injury. Because of this, Berry is very excited to be back in action and take on the rest of the season with a strong finish.
“When dealing with a loss like Saturday night, the only thing you can do is come back hungrier and ready to work through the weaknesses,” says Klopfer. “We constantly keep our eyes on our postseason goals and we never lose our motivation or intensity because we understand that we have to be constantly fighting to come out on top of our conference.”
Marshal is a very competitive player. She and the rest of the Warriors are going to do anything and everything it takes to win!