Friday, January 15, 2021

Cards heading toward most important stretch

The Plattsburgh State women’s volleyball team is hoping they are finding their groove at the perfect time of the season: in-conference SUNYAC play.

This year’s squad is young, consisting of mostly freshman and sophomores with little to none postseason experience, so head coach Jake Bluhm has done his best to express to the team how important these in-conference games are.

While the out-of-conferences matches the Cardinals have played to start the season are important; the importance lies in terms of setting them up and preparing them for these SUNYAC matches.

These in-conference matches are what allow a team to qualify for the SUNYAC tournament, something the Cards were not able to do last season, and have only done once since 2009.

Senior middle hitter Emily Miller has done her best to express to the team how important winning in-conference matches and qualifying for SUNYACs is.

Since the team is so young, many have not experienced this time of the season at all, and it is up to older players such as Miller to explain the increased value of these matches.

“I am constantly reminding them to keep their intensity up, hustle hard and just focus on school and volleyball,” Miller said. “It needs to be known that volleyball is a top priority.”

Over and over again this season, Bluhm has expressed how important team chemistry is to both his team specifically, and the game of volleyball as a whole.

Good team chemistry is not easily developed, but when present, can do amazing things for a team. PSUC is hoping the strong chemistry they have developed quickly between their young talent is enough to propel them past some of their older, more experienced competition ahead.

Freshman outside hitter Sam Colombo believes even though a majority of the team members just met a few weeks ago, they are as close as can be, and that makes them as strong as ever on the court.

“We are really meshing together and I can only see us getting better,” Colombo said.

Another area where the Cards seem to be getting it together is during team practices.

Bluhm believes the team is working extremely hard in practice, and that will in fact lead to an overall improvement of the team.
“They are all working very hard in practice as well as being in weight room all the time lifting,” Bluhm said.

He said his team has done a good job of pushing one another to work hard and improve, so the team as a whole can see more success.

“They are definitely doing a good job of motivating one another,” Bluhm said. “There a couple who have stepped up into leadership roles and are setting a good example for the other girls to follow. That’s all you can hope for as a coach.”

“All you can do is keep working hard and hopefully the results fall a little bit more your way as you move forward.”

Email Bailey Carlin at bailey.carlin@cardinalpointsonline.com

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