Following yet another season-ending injury, the Light Blue volleyball squad (4-10, 2-3 Ivy) will try to bounce back with strong showings against Brown and defending conference champions Yale this weekend.
The team has achieved a level of maturity and determination that allowed them to recover from a 2-0 deficit before winning the next three sets to defeat Dartmouth last Friday.
“After that second game, we came into the locker room and everyone had that look that we weren’t losing,” junior Molly Winger said. “Everyone, including me and the other players, stepped up.”
Looking forward, the team has set some goals for the halfway mark of the season.
“We definitely want to get a couple wins this weekend,” Winger said. “We definitely want at least one. We want to be in the top of the Ivy League at the end of this weekend. We’re looking pretty strong in practice.”
There are specific areas which the Lions have focused on in order to try and stay ahead of play and be more in control.
“We’re working hard on reading the game because there’s a tendency to follow the ball in the game, and the ball tells you very little about what’s going to happen next,” Wilson said. “But where the ball goes, how the ball comes out of someone’s hands, what the rhythm on the other side of the court will tell you a lot about what’s going to come over to your side of the court.”
This season has been especially trying for the Lions, not only because of the relative youth of the squad with only three upperclassmen, but also critical injuries to key players in the lineup.
“We had two season-ending injuries, which we never had before, at least since I’ve been here, and one that put a player out for a couple weeks in the beginning,” Winger said. “So that’s been something that tested us, especially our mental toughness, and people have had to step up and they’ve done that really well.”
Wilson had some positive thoughts about how the team has been performing overall despite all of the injuries and the close games.
“We’ve played a tougher schedule overall, and we’ve been in every match,” Wilson said. “We realize we’re just a few swings here and there from having the opposite record, and maybe just one loss in the league. But you have to balance that out. It’s keeping the confidence up by looking at things objectively, but you have to also look at the record and say we have to work hard.”
The Lions host Brown on Friday at 7:00 p.m., followed by Yale on Saturday at 5:00 p.m.