The Plattsburgh State volleyball team knew the task at hand going into last weekend. Win three matches against SUNYAC opponents and keep its playoff chances alive.
The Cards couldn’t hold its part of the deal as the team fell to Cortland, Buffalo State and Oneonta— officially eliminating PSUC from playoff contention.
“It’s always disappointing when your season comes to an end prematurely,” Head coach Jake Bluhm said. “Im proud of the team and what they were able to accomplish this season. We have a lot of potential.”
Bluhm said it’s about finishing strong in the final three matches, trying to carry that momentum and potential into next season.
“It’s there—I’ve seen the progress they have made throughout the season,” Bluhm said. “They’ve been getting those reps in practice, getting accustomed to our playing style and gaining more confidence.”
Bluhm said the team was competitive in almost all of its matches this season.
“It’s not like we got blown out every match. We faced good teams—some we should of beat,” Bluhm said. “We’re right there. We just need to get over the hump because teams like that won’t beat themselves.
One positive is that the team will have all its players return for next season.
“We’re trying to build something here,” Bluhm said. “We have a young team so it’s going to be fun to watch them grow and get better. I’m excited.”
Bluhm said with the whole team returning for another season he expects the team play to be more consistent throughout matches.
“There were matches where it looked like they’ve been playing together for years,” Bluhm said. “Then there were matches where it looked like this was their first game playing with each other.Those are things we can fix.”
The offseason gives the Cards an opportunity to work on other things besides volleyball.
“They get a chance to start their offseason programs,” Bluhm said. “They can use that time to improve in some areas like conditioning and strength. It’s been mostly playing volleyball nonstop so it’ll be a good change for them.”
Bluhm also understands the importance of realizing the team’s weak spots and making sure they put in the work to make it a strength of theirs.
“We could do a better job on offense,” Bluhm said. “We had issues scoring points during some stretches of the season.”
Sophomore outside hitter Sam Colombo said the team has to move and work on the things that caused them to miss the playoffs.
“I think we just need to finish out the season strong and end on a good note with the upcoming tournament in Oneonta,” Colombo said. I believe that our team can improve and be better next season.”
Colombo said it’s about trusting each other when they play and working hard in practices and games.
“We can always work on getting better at ball control and just becoming more educated on the sport,” Colombo said. “I expect us to all work hard in the offseason to prepare for the upcoming season.”
Colombo said when the spring season comes around the team really needs to focus in on getting better and working on the little things as individuals.
“I believe that there is always room for improvement and right now I don’t think that we are where we should be chemistry and skill wise just yet,” Colombo said. “We are all working hard towards that goal of being the best well-rounded team. If we all come together and realize what we need to do to be successful then I think we will excel as a team.”
Bluhm said this is not just an opportunity to improve the team’s record next season but also be able to establish a culture and a brighter future for the program.”
“It all starts with them,” Bluhm said. “They all know the goals we set— we have the chance to be apart of something bigger and I think we got the players to do just that.”
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