The Plattsburgh State volleyball team since turning around its season with a 8-3 record in its last 11 games look primed to perform at its best for an important of the season, which includes going up against SUNYAC opponents.
Head Coach Jake Bluhm said the team played well last weekend but there’s always room for improve.
“We took a match against Potsdam, and I thought we should’ve beaten Oswego,” Bluhm said. “We just have to continue to grow, get better and mature as a team.”
Bluhm said losing those close matches are tough but with time he thinks those will turn into wins.
“I think number one, we can’t be satisfied with these results,” Bluhm said. “They need to continue to understand what it takes to win in this conference.”
One thing Bluhm said that the team needed to work on was finishing matches.
“I think we got a little conservative last weekend,” Bluhm said. “We were beating those teams and we just can’t put the nail in the coffin. I think nerves and the youth of this team may have played a part.”
Freshman middle hitter Tatyanna Barlow said the team should a lot of heart out on the court last weekend.
“I think the team played hard,” Barlow said. “We saw how well we can play together.”
Barlow said a lot has changed since the team started 0-4.
“Our covering has improved a lot since the beginning of the season,” Barlow said. “ Also our blocking, closing of the block, sealing of the block, being in the right spot and back line defense.”
The leadership on the team is important for the Cards.
“Its nice to be able to play with players that also have that serious love for the game and the desire to win games,” Barlow said. “It makes such a difference we are all on the same page.”
Sophomore setter Sydney Gabriel said everyday the team gets more accustomed to how everyone plays.
“The Oswego game we came out strong but then we lost our momentum,” Gabriel said. “We just got to push through each match, go out there and play our hardest.”
Gabriel said they’ll be playing better teams as the season goes on so they’ll have to step it up in the next week of practices.
“It’s a mental game sometimes, when we’re in the lead we need to learn how to finish matches,” Gabriel said. “When the other team gets one point we need to get four points. “It’s important that we don’t get overwhelmed, that’s when the other team can take advantage.”
Gabriel said each match is another chance to get the team’s chemistry down.
“Our first tournament we only played with each other for like a week so there was an adjustment period,” Gabriel said. “Our hard work in practice has paid off.”
One reason the team has played better is because they are playing more consistently.
“In the beginning of the season it’s tough to start with four loses but i don’t think we let that define us,” Bluhm said. “It was just trying to figure each other out. Every week we learn something new.”
Bluhm said he expects the team to be playing its best volleyball down the stretch.
“This week we’ll have a couple of good test. We’ll be facing a team that’s on the verge of being ranked,” Bluhm said. “Next weekend we’re facing the top two teams in the SUNYAC conference. I expect them to come in, stay hungry, and earn what they set out to do. There is a high ceiling, but to get there it’s going to take some work.
Email David Luces at firstname.lastname@example.org