By Paige Carswell
The Southwestern volleyball team that played against Central Christian in the scrimmage Aug. 30 walked onto the floor with confidence, head coach Cori Meyer-Broddle said. The team was calm and collected-like they knew they were going to win.
But that’s not the team who played several matches right after that, when the women endured four losses in a row without winning a game in any of the matches.
“It’s a completely different team. I can notice it as soon as they walk on the court,” Meyer-Broddle said. “You can walk on the court and know you’re gonna win and play like you know you’re gonna win, or you can walk on the court kinda scared, not knowing what to expect, and you’re going to play like that.”
After dropping its first four matches of the season without a single game win, it’s going to be important for the women to be the confident ones again. The women have two Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference games in the next week, starting when they play at Bethany College at 7 p.m. tomorrow. The women, as of press time, were 1-1 in conference matches, although overall they were 2-5.
Taylor Kinnamon, middle blocker, said that it was disappointing for the team to not be playing up to potential.
“It’s very frustrating to go out and not do what we’re supposed to do,” Kinnamon said. “We know how good we can be.”
Bethany was 1-0 at press time and were picked in preseason polls to finish fourth in the KCAC. They played Sterling College yesterday, who was 0-1 in conference play.
The women’s next conference game will be against Ottawa Sept. 23. Ottawa was 0-1 at press time.
Meyer-Broddle didn’t want to comment on upcoming games with a game against Tabor coming up yesterday.
“Until we see them or until I talk to other coaches about what to expect, it’s up in the air,” she said. ” After the Tabor game is over, we can start focusing on that game.”
The women had lost to Tabor in three games the previous weekend at the St. Mary’s tournament, which Meyer-Broddle contributed to inconsistency.
“If everybody shows up, we’re going to beat Tabor, but it just kinda depends,” Meyer-Broddle said of the upcoming game. “We’re young and with youth comes inconsistency. When the girls start playing a little bit more this season, we’ll start playing a little bit older.”
Although the women were beat 3-0 the first go-around with Tabor, Meyer-Broddle said it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. The women led for most of the second game before Tabor came back to win 25-23, and Meyer-Broddle thought that confidence this time would come with just having the knowledge of what was going to happen during the game.
“We’ve seen them once. The girls are going to be more prepared this time. We can do it.”
The news hasn’t been all bad for the women. They went 2-1 at the St. Mary’s tournament last weekend with wins coming against St. Mary’s and Central Christian. Kara Robeson, middle blocker, made the all-tournament team at the St. Mary’s tournament.
“She’s a fireball,” Meyer-Broddle said of Robeson, noting that although her original plan was to take Robeson out on the back row, she’s keeping her in. ” She needs to be in there getting the girls excited. She’s more than what I expected.”
Team’s biggest asset right now, Meyer-Broddle said, is adversity, including having Kindell Copeland, sophomore setter and team captain, also hitting outside.
“Girls adjusting to different things-that’s big,” she said. “Usually you have a middle that can only play middle. The adversity of the team is a big strength of ours.”
Caitlin McCurdy, right side, said that she thought being afraid to make mistakes was the biggest problem right now.
“I don’t think we know how to give it our all without being afraid,” McCurdy said. “We need to go out on the game court with the same intensity and fire and skill that we have in practice.”
Meyer-Broddle thinks that with some confidence and playing time, the team will be able to hold on to leads like they had in games against Tabor and Friends.
“It is something to say that we can be neck-in-neck with teams like that,” Meyer-Broddle said. “Soon we’ll be winning those games.”
Paige Carswell is a sophomore majoring in journalism. You may e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.