VB meets high expectations in tough conference

Alex Entz/Senior Writer

With a cautious eye to the past, the 2009 women’s volleyball team is looking to repeat the success of past years. The team has finished first or tied for first in their pools in all but one tournament.

This year’s team wrestles with with the high expectations levied upon them by past teams.

“I think they have expectations to be like those teams (that made it deep into the state tournament,” head coach Matt Flaherty said. “I think this year we worry about being like them or as good as them and don’t focus on our adjustments and learning from our mistakes.”

Senior Keeley Orvis also said she believes that the expectations for this year’s team have shaped the team, but in a more positive way.

“I think we’ve done very well with [the expectations.] I think we have proven this season to ourselves and our fans that we should be held to high expectations,” Orvis said.

Senior Sarah Korte concurred, saying, “We have high expectations for ourselves as a team. We know what we have to do to get the job done in our tough conference.”

To try to diminish the effect those expectations have had, Flaherty has been drilling several key points during practices.

“I’m stressing the little things that we learned years ago,” he said. “Mistakes happen, and they account for 85 percent of all points in volleyball.”
Korte pointed out a few other things the team has been working on.

“We do a lot of defensive drills,” she said. “Mostly, we are focusing on not getting down on ourselves,” she said.

Despite the early success the team has had, Flaherty said he believes the team still has a lot of work to do.

“[They need to] improve their ability to take care of volleyball 101—the basic fundamentals,” Flaherty said. “The basics should be a constant and somewhere along the way we forget about them in game situations,” he said.

Orvis noted another way the team needs to improve.

“We need to work on letting little mistakes go,” Orvis said.
Korte added that, “We sometimes tend to let the mental errors build up.”

Nevertheless, the team’s positives heavily outweigh their tendencies to dwell on their miscues, as reflected by their strong record.

“We are really good at the fundamentals, and because of that we can run tough plays,” Orvis said.
“We are good at communication and teamwork,” Flaherty said. “We are also a really good blocking team when we get set and find our hitters,” he said.

The team attributes some of its teamwork and ability to its strong feeling of togetherness.

“We have all been playing together since summer, and all of us have the same goal in mind while playing,” Korte said.
Orvis agreed that the team meshes well together. “So far we have all gotten really close; there aren’t very many of us, so it is easy to get to know each other,” she said.

“We all get along and work really well together,” senior Alex Judisch added.

Part of the reason the team has been tough to beat at home is the home crowd, which had been turning out in unprecedented numbers early in the year.

“Every game that we’ve played at home has been awesome,” Judisch said. “All of the people that come to support us really get us pumped up.”

As the team goes forward, Flaherty and the team have set forth a number of goals that they want to accomplish.

“[We want to] finish with a winning record in the conference, have more wins than last year and making State is always a goal,” he said.

Both Orvis and Korte mentioned wanting to come into a tournament as an underdog and knocking off a team that they are not expected to beat.
The next volleyball match is tonight. The Tigers will travel to Waterloo East to battle the Trojans at 5:30 p.m.

Class of 2014

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