Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Team learns from mistakes

The Plattsburgh state women’s volleyball team’s confidence level is soaring after a successful second day in the SUNY Canton Invitational this past weekend.

After dropping a pair of matches day one against Canton and Plymouth State, the Cardinals hit their stride on day two and topped Paul Smith’s and Potsdam, disposing of both of them quickly with 3-0 matches.

Head coach Jake Bluhm has made it very clear this season is about reframing the culture of PSUC to incorporate a winning attitude and, hopefully, a winning record.

He believes this season has the potential to set the Cardinals on a more positive path towards success. Bluhm believes the team’s loss to a good team such as Canton can still be considered a learning opportunity.

“I think overall we played well this weekend,” Bluhm said. “Against Canton, we came out in the loss column but, I think we played pretty well, put up a good fight. They’re a good team and have been for the last few years. We are definitely much more competitive.”

This type of improvement and being more competitive, even in losses is the main focus for Bluhm and his team this season. Bluhm was also pleased with his team’s performance in their winning matches and noted that while losing can be a solid learning experience, winning obviously feels good too.

“It is nice to come off a couple of wins to end the tournament,” Bluhm said. “Going forward it is looking pretty good for us.”

One strong aspect of this year’s team is it’s youth. Relying heavily on first-year competitors is a very difficult thing for coaches to do, but the Cards’ first-year players have been nothing short of stellar so far this season.

PSUC’s younger players and veterans have meshed perfectly in 2015.

This has led to the team chemistry being extremely effective.

Sam Colombo, a freshman setter who is leading the Cards in both points and kills per set, believes this year’s team developing a solid chemistry so quickly has been a major plus for PSUC.

“We really love each other and work good together as a team on the court,” Colombo said. “Good chemistry is such a big factor — you have to have it to win.”

As the Cards’ season progresses and they get closer to in-conference play, the team will see increasingly fierce competition.

Senior hitter Emily Miller believes that if the team continues on the upward trend they’ve been on, they can compete regardless of the talent they face.

“If we play as well as we played against Potsdam, we keep that motivation, fun and intensity up, we can compete against anyone.”

Bluhm also understands the level of difficulty will be increasing but is confident his squad is more than capable of continuing to both improve and win.

“The SUNYAC is top-to-bottom very competitive,” Bluhm said. “As we start seeing more SUNYAC teams, the level of competition will be increasing. It will be something challenging for us, but I think we are ready.”

Email Bailey Carlin at sports@cardinalpointsonline.com

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