The Plattsburgh State volleyball team ended its season this past weekend with a record of 6-20.
Although the record might not be ideal, the Cardinals saw a large amount of growth and improvement both on and off the court.
Departing senior and team captain Meghan Clifford saw the light in what could be viewed as a dark season.
“We had a new coach and half our starters are freshmen,” Clifford said. “It was definitely a building year, so with that being said, I would say it went very well.”
First-year head coach Jake Bluhm believes that a season is defined by much more than the win-loss column. Both having a new coach and a young team are obviously unavoidable circumstances, but the team did not let that stop the players from growing.
“The girls really stuck together throughout, especially to finish the season,” Bluhm said. “They all gave exactly what the team needed them to give.”
The Cards seemed to play to the level of their competition throughout the season. Some of their closest games were against the best teams they faced.
“We did not win against Clarkson,” Clifford said. “But it was by far the most fun match of the season.”
Specific areas of the game that PSUC was weak in plagued the team throughout the season, such as serve-receive, allowing opponents to go on huge runs and the team’s lapses in mental toughness.
Maggie Schrantz, the only other graduating senior on the team, felt the team improved in a number of these areas.
“Our mental game definitely improved,” Schrantz said. “We were no longer getting down on ourselves at the end of the season. Other parts of our game improved too, for sure.”
In addition to improvements on aspects of the game, PSUC also saw improvements in the games of individuals as well. Bluhm felt that every player made an improvement, but specifically highlighted a few that made a large leap.
“Jordynne Ales, Miranda Scheffer and Noelle Miller were thrown right into the mix as freshmen,” Bluhm said. “Those three made great strides, all the girls did.”
Being a freshman and getting tossed right in to large amounts of playing time is not easy, but much experience has been gained.
A sports season is understandably nearly always defined by wins and losses, but often there is more to a story than that. Improvement during a building season provides hope for the future, and that is exactly what the 2014 women’s volleyball season has done.
Email Bailey Carlin at email@example.com.