Nov. 3, 2014

Ashley Thompson
athomp13@uccs.edu

With the regular season winding down, women’s volleyball will need to win out and get a lot of help to make the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference tournament.

The young team, with only four returners, has struggled down the stretch, losing their last seven games.

“It’s a huge learning curve for the freshman just coming in,” said junior outside hitter Kim Catlett. “Integrating everyone into the system took longer.”

Freshman libero Natasha Habert feels the team has worked efficiently with what they have.

“Overall, I think since we had only four returners and so many new players, we have had a really successful season. We’re only going to get better, and we’ve taken some big steps throughout the season,” Habert said.

Catlett knows there will have to be some luck for the team to make the RMAC tournament.

“If we win all three of our remaining games, we have a slim chance of being in the playoffs,” she said. “The stars would have to be aligned, but you never know. We’ve improved a lot over the season, and definitely are ending a lot stronger than we started.”

Despite the recent struggles, players did not indicate that their approach to games was going to change.

“We have to keep a high intensity, we’re going to be playing tougher teams,” freshman setter Celeste Henderson said.

Henderson is optimistic about the team’s performance in her first year.

“Our record overall isn’t the greatest, but as a team it’s been a really successful season,” Henderson said. “We’ve grown so much, we’ve gotten better, and you can see we’re improving each and every day.”

Catlett explained the RMAC games have become progressively harder, with the tougher teams in the conference coming in the second half of the season.

“We started out with the easier side of the conference, so I feel like if we had last year’s schedule, and started out with the harder side, we would be better prepared to win some of the games we had moving on,” she said.

“There’s a lot of games that I feel like we could’ve won,” she added. “But we have taken sets off of really good teams, which is a really good feeling.”

Team chemistry has been good throughout the season, according to players, in part because of the large number of new players.

“Since there’s so many freshman, we’ve built a little family within ourselves. The team itself is really close. It’s definitely a stronger bond than I’ve experienced,” Habert said.

After Colorado Christian on Oct. 31, the team will conclude the regular season with home games against Chadron State and Black Hills State. Chadron is in town Nov. 7 for a 7 p.m. game, while Black Hills State will visit on Nov. 8 at 5 p.m. in the Gallogly Events Center.