After a convincing first half of the season, the women’s varsity volleyball team found themselves in one of the top spots of the ACAA conference, boasting a 7-2 record.
“It’s encouraging to see us play at the calibre of a championship team,” Melissa McAnsh, the team’s libero, said. “We have a young and talented team that can only improve with time and playing together.”
Heading into the second half of the season, the team looked to do more of the same; however, this has not been the case. Since returning from the winter break, the team has played seven games and holds a 3-4 record throughout January.
Although still ranked third overall in the conference, the team finds itself falling out of reach of the top two teams, which gives them less of a chance to qualify for a bye through the first round of playoffs.
According to head coach Paul Settle, “Getting one of the top two playoff seeds is not impossible, but unlikely, because we have six losses and the two teams [MSVU and Holland] we are chasing have just one and two losses, respectively.”
Indeed, having a bye would be nice, but it’s consistency that the Mounties should be worried about as they close out the regular season.
“We want to finish the season out strong and develop that ability to finish off teams, and I think we know that this is what we have to do to be successful,” Settle said.
The team starts out winning a consistent number of points and sets every time they step on the floor. However, they have a habit of slipping in the last sets of the match. “Execution is especially needed in the end of sets,” Settle said.
An accurate display of the pattern the team is trying to fix was evident this past weekend, when they faced off against Université Sainte-Anne in a doubleheader on Saturday and Sunday.
The team had a clean sweep Saturday night, winning 3-0. The same result was expected Sunday morning against the Dragons, who are 4-12 this season.
After winning the first two sets 25-23 and 25-13, the team went on to lose the next two. The Mounties fought hard in the fifth set, but ultimately fell 3-2, dropping the match to one of the lower-ranked teams in the conference.
“[These past games] are not reflective of what we are capable of, McAnsh said. “As the season is progressing, we need to consistently display the level of volleyball that we know how to play, so that we can be a dominant team all the time.”
The team will look to find their groove as they face their toughest matchups this upcoming weekend against Holland College and MSVU.
This weekend, the team will try to prove that they deserve to be top contenders for the ACAA championship.