Volleyball regains footing after West Coast trip

Rachel Hettleman, Contributing Writer

The women’s volleyball team notched a 3-1 last night against the Montclair State University Red Hawks. The win came after a tough weekend in California, where the team battled through four games at the 2015 Pacific Coast Class tournament where the Violets came away with just one win. On wednesday night, head coach Jolie Ward stressed the importance of the team fighting through adversity and moving on from their subpar tournament.

The Violets fought back after losing the first game 21-25. Outside hitter Shelby King touched on how the team overcame this deficit and remained focused on the goal.

“Our assistant coach came in and she just got us so hyped,” King said. “She was like, ‘Do you want it?’”

Their intensity level improved as they took the court going into the second game, where they maintained their focus and went on to win it 25-15. Ward was pleased with the way the team fought to defend their home court.

“For the girls to be able to be behind and push their way back into the game really was a huge feat for us,” Ward said.

Despite a closer third game, sophomore middle blocker Rayne Ellis secured the victory with a game-winning kill, finalizing the score at 25-21.

Senior Captain Nicole Frias led the team in kills, recording an impressive 11. Following her was newcomer King, who had a tremendous home court debut tonight, finishing the game with 10 kills. King is proving herself to be an invaluable addition to the team. After her first college tournament in California this weekend, she made a point of watching extra tape and conferencing with her coaches to be prepared for this game.

The win was a much-needed confidence booster, proving to the team that they could keep up  with the competition on their schedule, despite being so young. Coach Ward noted the importance of getting it done by committee.

“We needed to build some confidence,” Ward said. “Contributions can come from anyone, and tonight was a testament to that as there were many substitutions and frequent role rotations.”

Sophomore setter Elissa Davlia-Shiau effectively dished out opportunities, leading the team in assists with 35. Getting a team to bond and collaborate is hard for any sport, but Ward pointed out that for a fall sport, with less time together throughout the year, the challenge becomes even greater. Tonight showed that they are certainly on their way.

The Violets will take the court again this weekend at the Hawks Invitational in New Paltz, New York. They have double headers on Sept. 11 and 12.

Email Rachel Hettleman at [email protected].