By Samantha Plumley – 1851 Staff
The women’s volleyball team begin their season with high hopes. Their recent win at Smith College on September 19 and last season’s overall record of 7-28 serve as the team’s inspiration to improve.
Expectations are set high since the men’s team brought home the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) title last season.
“The guys just came off a huge season, so I feel like the school is expecting us to do big things as well,” said senior Taylor Hansen.
Coach Mary Tom sees the potential in her players and gives them something to aspire to. “The team goal is to shoot for the NCAA championship,” Tom says. “Not even just placing in the top four, we are shooting for the whole thing.”
Accepting the challenge, the team recognizes the steps they need to take to improve. “It is just a matter of being individually a solid player and then using that and contributing that to the team setting,” said Hansen.
Off the court, they are much more than just a team. The small size of the squad provides them the opportunity to become closer as friends and more involved as a community. They consider themselves a family and act as such; many of the players choose to live together.
The team has also faced some roadblocks in injuries of the players this year including senior Sharisse Scott-Rawlins having a partial hamstring tear and many others still battling injuries from the previous season but still continuing to play through the pain, according to Hansen. The women make sure to monitor their injuries and receive medical attention before the games to insure they play their best.
Players caution spectators about making assumptions too early in a game. Their determination to succeed is only heightened under pressure.
“Our fight and our drive come from when we are down points,” said senior Natalie Berwald.
“We need to prove ourselves in order to keep our fan section,” says Hansen. “That’s what the guys did, that’s what every team on the campus does.”
Determined, they plan to fight their way to the NCAA. “We’re going to show everyone that we can do it,” said Hansen.