Volleyball team doubles 2016 win total

The lady Cougars take third in the NAC-VI

Sophomore Ramsey Schlafer goes up for the kill as she's backed by her team.

Austin Julian, Sports Editor

 

The volleyball team improved their record from last year, going 13-12 overall and 6-4 in the conference.  They took third place in the newly minted NAC-VI.

In 2016 the team went 5-17 and 3-11 in the last season in the Cap-8.

In order to improve, the team took a simple approach.

“I think it started with focusing on the basics, focusing on skills a little bit more, and then it got into more of team play,” second year coach Kat Jacobs said.

The team’s assets, which have helped them be successful, are more internal rather than external.

“I think our strength is our drive. I think we have been mentally tough, and I think our drive has increased since day one of the season. They’ve wanted to win so badly,” Jacobs said.  “They wanted to beat their record, which was one of their goals was to double their record from last year, and they’ve already done that so far.”

The team’s starters consisted of four seniors, three juniors, and freshman Natalie Russell.

“It was a tough adjustment because everyone already knew each other, and coming in as the youngest, I didn’t really know what to expect, but it was a really easy transition and having a lot of experience in volleyball, it was nothing knew, and it went really well,” Russell said.

The team’s performance was enough to place four players on the all-conference team. Seniors Savannah Strawbridge and Emma Surles were selected to the first team, while junior Jalin Debman and sophomore Ramsey Schlafer earned honorable mention honors.

Strawbridge led the team with 199 kills and was honored as the Outstanding Fall Female athlete for the 2017 season, as selected by the coaching staff. She shared the honor with cross country runner Erin Spreen.

As coach Jacobs looked back on the season she had nothing but good things to say about the year.

“I think that the girls did great this season. I am very proud of them. They had little goals that they kind of checked off along the season and met each one of them.”