The Plattsburgh State volleyball team’s coaching staff and players are trying to learn and move on from a disappointing first set of conference matches.
The Cardinals, 4-9 overall and 0-3 in conference, dropped three matches this past weekend to Geneseo, Oswego and Fredonia, making it five straight losses for PSUC.
With seven SUNYAC regular season matches left, it is definitely not too late for the Cardinals to make a playoff push.
Head coach Jake Bluhm said it is about more than just wins and losses and he said has found a silver lining in the midst of a tough stretch.
“We can learn from this past weekend and get better,” Bluhm said. “We were right with some of those teams, very strong teams. It isn’t always about getting the W.”
Senior captain Meghan Clifford also feels some positives came from an overall bad weekend.
Clifford said that the team got out all the “SUNYAC jitters,” the nerves that accompany the first in-conference matches of the season.
The Cards do not see another opponent until Oct. 10th, giving them a solid chunk of time in between matches.
It gives PSUC time to scout and get in a lot of practice to figure out how to be the most effective against their upcoming opponents.
It also leaves a large chunk of time where they are not seeing another team and run the risk of getting bored and becoming flat.
“It’s definitely nice to give the girls a break,” Bluhm said. “But at the same time, two weeks of practice can allow you to lose the speed of the competition a little bit.”
Clifford said the this much time off is not ideal, but it could still serve to help them anyway.
“I most definitely would rather be traveling to a tournament somewhere,” Clifford said. “But on another note, having an off weekend will give ustime to recover and rest up before our next round of SUNYACs.”
Clifford cites a different issue for the team’s struggles, but feels it could be improved.
“I think moving forward the team needs to improve on serve receive,” Clifford said. “I think that if we improve our serve receive we’ll be able to terminate the ball a lot more often.”
Assistant coach Matt Lein said mental toughness has been an issue throughout the entire season. He believes in cases when the other team goes on a run, the Cards get overwhelmed and end up giving up too many points consecutively.
“I tell them to have a short memory span out there,” Lein said. “We’ve got to come out and treat every point like it is brand new and not stress about what happened before.”
Bluhm expresses a similar opinion about the players keeping their composure and preventing crippling runs.
“I tell them the next play after making a mistake doesn’t have to be the best play you’ve ever made,” Bluhm said. “You just have to focus and get back to the fundamentals and the points will come.”
Email Bailey Carlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.