Cobras looking to strike this season
After finishing second at the national tournament last season, the Parkland Volleyball team is working hard to achieve their goals.
According to sophomore setter Kelly Lean the goal is to, “win the championship, as well as district, and the MWAC.”
The success of previous years has left expectations sky high from onlookers, but the team is keeping things in perspective.
“I think the expectations are comparable to what they’ve been each of the last few seasons: work hard, play hard, respect each other, build new relationships, grow in confidence, give back to others and fight for a national championship along the way,” said Parkland College Volleyball Coach Cliff Hastings.”
An attitude like that takes some of the pressure off the younger players and cuts down on adversity for the team, although it will not eliminate distraction. But distractions don’t bother Hastings that much.
“Distractions are ok – especially early in the season. I welcome them early as it’s the only way to learn from them. Adversity is a valuable tool in a march towards a national championship. Then, when something happens at nationals, we can bounce back with lessons learned and still be successful on the court,” Hastings said.
Having buzz like this is keeping the team motivated. Hastings believes his team is different saying, “This group of girls is pretty self-motivated without my needing to do much of it thus far. My work thus far has been on the technical side where the girls have maintained the work ethic and excitement necessary for a successful preseason. The sophomores were all part of that 2nd place finish last year, and most of the freshmen committed early enough last year that they were an active viewer of our getting so close to winning it all. I think this group has the right balance between working hard for short-term goals coupled with patience for the process to accomplish the long-term goals as well.”
After all that happened last year the team needs to be ready because they are going to be targeted. Kailey Kleinert, a middle hitter on the team, believes that the keys to success will be, “To stay together in tough situation and deal with the large crowds.”
Hastings added, “We have all the pieces to be successful in the long-term and short-term- we’re strong at every position, we have good leadership, etc. One item of focus is reproducibility. It’s perhaps a more fancy way of saying consistency, but at only two and a half weeks into the season, I don’t have huge expectations of consistency quite yet because there are so many moving parts to each successful play. But I think prior to that consistency, we can strive to do something great and have an expectation to reproduce it again. We’re finding it in some areas and not in others; this will be the focal point over the next week.”