By Paige Carswell
This is not where the volleyball team wanted to be at the end of the season.
The women had hoped to be in the top half of the conference, but are heading into their final regular season game at winless Kansas Wesleyan University tomorrow in ninth place, and with no hope of moving up in regular season standings.
The only hope they have is to win their play-in game Saturday against the eighth place team and be able to participate in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament beginning Nov. 10.
At the beginning of the season, the women hoped to be one of the toughest teams in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. They had close to their whole lineup from the 2008 season back and brought in hitter Kara Robeson, a senior transfer who had spent time playing at Missouri Southern State University.
The women have reached the 20-point mark in at least one game of each of their last nine matches, but have only been able to pull out two wins in those matches. Cori Meyer-Broddle, head coach, attributed the losses to a building program.
“We’ve been staying with teams. It’s just learning how to finish it, and in order to learn that you have to learn how to win,” Meyer-Broddle said. “It’s been a baby step into changing this program.”
Caitlin Smith, senior outside hitter, said that the losses came as frustrating to the team-especially because the team finished the 2008 season with a 4-14 conference record.
“The frustrating thing is we have so much more talent this year and haven’t been able to do anything with it,” Smith said.
The women played eighth-place McPherson College for senior night last night. Results were not available at press time. The women graduate two seniors-Robeson and Smith.
“”I hope they can leave here knowing that they have made an impact,” Meyer-Broddle said. “They are leaving a program better than what it started with them.”
Smith is the only player who has been with Meyer-Broddle through four years of playing, and the coach says that Smith is one who will be missed after this season.
“She’s been a leader on this team since she stepped on the floor,” Meyer-Broddle said.
Smith decided to graduate this spring, although she had a medical redshirt from her sophomore season. “She’ll be missed here. It was a tough decision but she’s ready to move on with her career. She’s a mature girl and she’s just ready to take the next step.”
Although Robeson only played one year for the women, Meyer-Broddle said that her role on the team has been an important one.
“Kara got probably half the sets all season long. That’s a huge impact,” Meyer-Broddle said.
Although they only have three conference wins, Meyer-Broddle said that she’s proud of the team for not giving up.
“You can tell, the girls are just confused by it all. Expectations were high,” she said. “They battle and battle and battle and end up losing, but they’re out there fighting to the end. We could be accepting the fact that we’re losing but the girls are talking about it-they’re not okay with it.
This is a completely different team than any other team I’ve had. Hopefully we can see that improvement again.”
Paige Carswell is a junior majoring in journalism. You may e-mail her at email@example.com.