Lady Cobras volleyball preview
Published: Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 17:08
As the seasons change, fall sports teams at Parkland College begin practicing in anticipation of upcoming games. For the Lady Cobras volleyball team, winning games means a lot as last year’s team has left some big shoes to fill.
The Cobras had a record of 41-8 to go along with their District J and Midwest Athletic Conference Championships. The team went on from there to top it all off with a ninth place finish at the NJCAA Championships, making for a great year to say the least.
A good year, though, brings up the question of whether the team can repeat their success. With newer, younger talent coming in, conversation stirs of how are they going to replace certain players and how can they coexist with a new setting.
Even though it is tough, bringing in younger talent to replace the players that have moved on can also be rewarding, and surprises are bound to happen.
This year’s team combines young talent with veteran leadership as they return four players from last year’s team and add nine freshmen. This might seem like a down year, because of the inexperience, but is good because the fans get to watch a team grow into a contender.
The expectations are very high for this team as they are for any team who comes off a tremendous season. Sophomore middle hitter Shelby Geers talkled about these expectations.
“I personally hold big expectations for our team this year,” Geers said. “At this point in our season last year compared to where we are now, we are not only physically more in shape but also mentally. Many of us on the team have played in high school, so we have a good chemistry going already.”
Freshmen setter Emily Wilson responded, “You should expect us to always have fun together on the court and bring a lot of energy.”
Sophomore outside hitter Dana Belcher answered, “I expect to go far this season. I know where we are now in the season so far that there is much more teamwork, passion, commitment, and I am having a lot more fun. From when I look back and see what we have all accomplished in the preseason, I can already tell this season is going to be one to remember, meaning we keep up the same intensity and effort. It is an awesome experience to be able to be a part of such a great program with great coaches and teammates who have the same passion and determination as I do.”
“We are a young team this year with nine freshmen and four sophomores, but don’t think for a second that will stop us. We’ve put in a lot of hours inside the gym and out to make sure we are ready for this year,” sophomore libero Megan Scharnett responded.
Having confidence and a good attitude going into a new season not only helps a team, but pushes them as well. One thing is going into a season with confidence, but the other is making sure you compete when game time comes around.
Winning brings people to games and that is what Parkland volleyball is all about, winning, which comes from a team point of view, but also with immense help from the stand out players.
Key players are ones who shine the most and are the main targets for opponents because they are credited as the players that everyone needs to watch out for.
“There are a couple girls to look out for but I believe all of the freshmen bring something different to the team whether it be energy, leadership or just getting the job done, they all have a role and do their role well,” Geers replied.
Belcher listed who she considered to be key players saying, “Alexis Clemens, outside hitter; Shelby Geers, middle hitter; Jordan Wooden, setter; Taylor West, right side hitter; Megan Scharnett, libero.”
“Other teams should look out for our middle, Shelby Geers. She is going to be a go-to hitter for us,” Wilson answered.
Scharnett replied, “The competition isn’t different from any years before. We always have to be ready for any team anytime. We can’t treat any team different, always going in as the underdog.”
Star players sell tickets, but high quality competition sells as well, as when more important games are played, more and more people attend games.
When asked why students should care about volleyball matches, Geers said, “Students should care because they should want to support their school. Some believe that because it is a junior college that the athletic teams aren’t good or as competitive so if they haven’t seen a match I would recommend to at least attend one this season.”
“The student body should care because we love the support. You really don’t know how good it feels to come out for a game and see the crowd. It makes it less nerve-racking knowing we have a fan base to back us up,” Scharnett stated.
Volleyball at any university is considered a minor sport, but at Parkland it is more of a sport that everyone can count on to be successful, because of all the history and accomplishments that Parkland volleyball has to offer.
Parkland volleyball games are held at Parkland Gymnasium and begin Tuesday, August 28 when the Lady Cobras host Kankakee.