Over this past weekend, the women’s volleyball team traveled to Iowa where they faced off against Cornell College on Friday and Grinnell the next day. Unfortunately, the Vikings did not receive the results they wanted, for they lost both games. I interviewed sophomore Emily Hoeft and asked her how the volleyball team normally prepares for games and why she thought they obtained the results that they did. Hoeft responded by saying, “We prepared for these games the same way we would prepare for any other game: we typically watch film of the other team, watching the way they set their defense and their offensive tendencies. In practices leading up to the games, we work on offensive shots that will be open, giving us the best chances for kills. Our defense will focus on the other team’s offensive tendencies and how to cover accordingly. Right before the game, we will review what we need to do to be successful and try to create an abundance of positive energy to start strong and gain momentum right away.” Film is a common tactic that is used to expose one’s opponents’ weaknesses, it’s helpful for also learning from one’s own mistakes as well! Hoeft continued saying, “Cornell and Grinnell were both very strong teams this year. Both teams finished in the top part of the conference. This year we had a very young and developing team. In the future, we hope to be stronger and more experienced in order to better execute our plan and compete with them.” As an athlete, I believe it is important to make clear either to yourself or in general why you play the sport that you do, so I asked Emily what she loves about volleyball and why she picked that sport over the others. She said, “I love being a part of a team. Everyone on the court plays a unique and important role, and everyone brings something to the team like pieces of a puzzle. There is a sense of rhythm to the game when it is going well. Each game is different and challenging in different ways, you have to be ready for anything.” To recap, Emily loves volleyball because of its inconsistent nature, but also because of the bonds that are being formed from being on the same team. As a team, you stick together through thick and thin, but it’s crucial when the team is at its lowest point. I asked Hoeft what was something that the volleyball team was not able to accomplish this year, but hopes to accomplish next year? Also, what steps will the team need to take in order to achieve this goal? She responded by saying, “As a team, we would have liked to have a more successful season. We had a very young team this year, primarily freshman and sophomores, so we hope to develop more for next year. This means working on execution and playing smarter, or with more strategy, and being a more cohesive unit. Everyone on the court has the same mindset: to win. As we have more time together, hopefully we can focus on the ‘little things’ in order to piece together the big picture and be more successful.” I then proceeded to ask the women’s volleyball head coach Matt Schoultz a few questions about this weekend, like what was something the Vikings did well this weekend, but where is also an area in which they need to improve upon? He said, “The team played well defensively. Our blocking and scrappiness were as good as they had been all season. We gave up some runs that made us play from behind at times.” I then asked him for some highlights of the weekend. Coach Schoultz said, “Some of the highlights. Jordan Adamson had 10 blocks and Liza Stalcup hit over .300 on the weekend.” Finally, I asked him what changes, if any, is he going to make for next season compared to this one? Coach said, “We have a very young team this season and we are expecting
the progress, experience and development of the team to carry over into next season.” Although the Vikings did not get the results they wanted this weekend or for their season in general, their team’s spirit still swings in high hopes as they make preparations for next year and focus on the recruitment process in order to build a bigger team, which will hopefully give them the results they were seeking to earn this season!