BY Mitchell Kiernan
The Sacred Heart Women’s Volleyball team is already nine games into their season. They are coming off a long road trip and hosted the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, and Fairfield University in their annual Sacred Heart Invitational. After going 2-1 against the three teams, the Pioneers sit at 4-5 on the season. Although they have had their struggles, head coach Rob Machan likes the team he has this year.
“They work very hard. Their game energy is outstanding, it’s actually a lot of fun,’’ said Machan. “We’ve come up short in a couple of the matches but were in every match and our high level of play is as good as I have seen since I’ve been here.”
Machan praises his group and explains what makes him have such high expectations for the team.
“We’re very organized, we have a very relentless attitude in wanting to be successful. They just continue to work, work, and work,” says Machan. “They just never give up on their play.”
Machan also added that his team works hard in the weight room and keep themselves in great shape, which helps the team when they are faced with playing three games on a given weekend.
One element he touched upon was how the underclassmen are working just as hard as the upperclassman.
“The upperclassmen demonstrate great leadership,” said Machan. “Everybody is working really hard. The advice from the upperclassman is great but actually most of our underclassmen are playing like seasoned veterans.”
However, coach isn’t the only one excited for more volleyball action. Sixth year outside hitter Makayla Dole, believes the team chemistry in the team is high.
“We all listen to the same music but we all get pumped up together. We will be in the locker room and playing music while laughing and having fun,” said Dole. “This is a fun group, we’re all about having fun, smiling and just messing with each other. That’s our dynamic and that’s how we mentally prepare for games cause that’s how we are on the court.”
Dole also says that through the team’s silliness and great chemistry, it helps each other push through tough times of a game.
Sophomore setter Sarah Ciszek also touched upon long weekends and how she perseveres through it.
“For sure. We get very tired very tired. It’s just us getting metally prepared, taking time to get treatment so our body is right, but once we step on the court its like an adrenaline rush and we use that energy to play.” said Ciszek.
Ciszek also mentions what has helped her stay focused during matches.
“It’s definitely keeping calm on the court, although the emotions and crowd gives you energy you just need to control it,” said Ciszek. “Staying calm and consistent and the energy is still pumping no matter who we play is key.”
The team travels to Yale University to participate in the Yale Invitational this upcoming weekend, facing off with Army West Point, Stony Brook, and Yale.