By DAN MARCUS
The volleyball team began their season at the Saint Vincent College Tournament last weekend, winning only their first of four matches.
Even though the team won only the first game, head coach Bridget Sheehan saw steady improvement throughout the weekend, specifically on the offensive side of the ball. Brynne Hazzard, ’15, led the attack with 14 kills in the win against Pitt Greensburg.
“After this weekend we learned that there are a lot of areas in need of development,” Alli Unger, ’15, said. “Once we were in an actual game setting, many aspects of the game we have been practicing started to piece together.”
Coach Sheehan emphasized the importance to work on defense in the coming weeks. Sheehan acknowledged the Gators’ defensive struggles as the difference maker in the tournament.
Much of the volleyball team is comprised of young players with eight freshman and seven sophomores on the roster.
The youth has forced younger players to step up and take a leadership role, according to Unger.
“I just do my job that I have been preparing for all week and ensure that my teammates are doing the same,” Unger said.
Sheehan stressed the importance of hard work and improvement throughout the remainder of the season.
“We need to play teams well, get better with our offense, and get our defensive mentality back,” said Sheehan. “Results on the court will take care of themselves.”
This weekend the Gators will travel to Washington and Jefferson for another tournament. They will play Pitt Greensburg once more. The Gators will also battle conference rival Denison, but the match will not count as part of conference play.
One of only two juniors on the team, Madie Hudac hopes that hard work in practice will translate to success on the court.
“My main goal for this weekend’s tournament is to play with a bigger sense of urgency as a team,” Hudac said. “There is a big difference between playing tentatively because you are afraid of making a mistake, and playing an aggressive game of volleyball, putting the technique you have instilled in practice into your game.”