This year, women’s volleyball has a big team with big hopes. Comprised of sixteen players, it is the largest team that senior middle backer, Dominique Hale, has seen in her career at Florida Southern.
“The competition that comes from having so many girls on one team really sets a standard for how we play and practice. It’s really fun to be a part of that and to know you have to work hard,” Hale said.
All of the girls are here to contribute their skill and are ready to work hard for their rightful spot on the court in the upcoming season. However, there is never tension between the girls, but rather a constant air of friendly competition and encouragement towards one another.
“There’s lots of depth in each position so everyone is competing with each other, making each other better every day. I love the atmosphere because it is very competitive,” Catherine Brusie, defensive specialist, said.
With 12 returning players, all of whom are valuable leaders, any incoming freshman would have their work cut out for them. Yet, there is assurance in the newest additions to the team.
“We have four new freshman and they are all really good,” Hale said.
This talent and ability will be necessary to be a competitive force in this year’s season.
“Our league is super competitive. Every time we step on the floor we have to bring our A game,” Head Coach, Jill Stephens, said.
The Mocs have a thirst to win and are ready to bring it on.
Furthermore, Hale and Brusie are confident all the players are gelling together, which reaps many benefits for any sports team.
“We are close. There’s not much separation on the team,” Hale said.
Coach Stephens emphasizes this statement in expressing how the freshmen have quickly adjusted to the team’s techniques.
“They [new members] have done a good job of adapting to our style and competitive level,” Stephens said.
Even prior to their first game, an overarching goal has developed for this season. Stephens’ vision for her team this year is to win Conference. Hale and Brusie also share this ambition.
As the team continues to practice for upcoming games, Stephens articulates the importance of having each other’s backs.
“Trust is huge. We are running a system that relies a lot on trust. Trusting that they are committed players, and that they are going do what they need to do on and off the court,” Stephens said.
This is why one of the fundamental goals and objectives for the team is unity.
“We are really focusing a lot on the team aspect. We have a lot of great players. We have the talent,” Stephens said. “The ultimate goal is to be the best team we can be every time we step on the floor and be better every time we compete.”
The team substantiates Stephens’ goals of showing excellence on the court through their determination and drive.
“We are not going to lose, even if we have a few errors we are going to dig through and keep on playing, keep on fighting,” Hale said.
Hope is in the air and this big team with a big heart and lots of talent could lead to greatness. Even possibly clinching that Conference title.
“There could be some really exciting things for our future,” Stephens said.
Photo courtesy of fscmocs.com