This past Wednesday, the Lions easily defeated their divisional opponent, 3-0.,”Despite a raucous crowd that stomped and screamed with approval when Pine Manor College scored, the Emerson women's volleyball team gave good reason for hope after what has been an up and down season.
This past Wednesday, the Lions easily defeated their divisional opponent, 3-0. The win improved Emerson's overall record to 7-9, 3-3 within their conference. But, most importantly, the team finally played up to its potential, which was not lost on Coach Ann Miklus.
"We have the most well-rounded team in the conference," Miklus said. "[Last Wednesday] we stepped it up. We have, as a team, fundamental skills in all areas and not lacking in one area. The one thing we don't have is experience."
The match got off to an inauspicious start with the first serve from Pine Manor dropping untouched by an Emerson defender for the first point of the game. Emerson, however, then reeled off an 11-0 run to take control and never looked back, taking the first game 30-13.
Emerson continued to dominate during the second game and won 30-9. The last game was the closest of the three but was not much of a contest either, as the Lions won 30-16 to wrap up the three-game sweep.
Pine Manor did not put up a lot of resistance and was constantly on the defense, scrambling without much of an idea how to set up plays. Frequently, it appeared as though they might be trying to get the fans involved, as the ball found its way up into the stands instead of back toward the opponents.
Conversely, the Emerson players looked calm and collected, setting up plays and effectively executing them.
"How we played today, to me, was how we should have played [all season]," said junior co-captain Alex Porteshawver.
Miklus said it was the psychological approach the team took that impressed her.
"We've progressed a lot as far as the mental game," Miklus said. "We're improving every day."
The match also gave Emerson a chance to work on the things they needed to improve, said co-captain junior Kelly Hogan.
"There was not a lot of pressure [today]," Hogan said. "It's fun when we get to practice things we need to work on in games. It's even more fun when we do them right."
Looking ahead, the volleyball players may have found themselves at just the right time. They have eight more matches left in the regular season and the teams they play should be somewhat easier match-ups than those they faced in the first half of the season.
"Unfortunately, we played our toughest teams at the beginning of the season," Miklus said.
Now, with the squad clicking and playing as one, Miklus said the future looks bright.
"They're a great group of girls," she said. "They're coachable, they all get along and now they're showing what they can do. I think we have a great team. We competed with Emmanuel and Johnson & Wales and we'll be competing with them again for the conference title."