Volleyball trains hard for 2nd straight PSAC

Contributed Photo: The Mercyhurst volleyball team traveled to West VIrginia and played four matches this passed weekend.Contributed Photo: The Mercyhurst volleyball team traveled to West VIrginia and played four matches this passed weekend.In the 2012 season the women’s volleyball team went to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since its 2009 season. This year, the Lakers are looking to build even more on one of the best seasons in the program’s history.

Losing a total of seven seniors, and gaining eight freshmen, the women’s volleyball team is looking to take this year’s season to a whole new level.

“The freshmen are all adapting really well to our program and collegiate volleyball in general.” said senior Sarah Vick.

“The transition from high school to college sports is really tough, with the higher level of play and bigger time commitment, but they are all doing great. All of the freshmen work really hard and they really have been pushing all of us returners in the gym, every day.”

This past weekend the Lakers visited Fairmont State and captured a 3-1 record during the tournament and started off with yet another successful season.

“We talked a lot about our goals during preseason, and are focusing our goals on improving as a team every single practice and every single game.” said Vick.

“We hope to have another great season like we did last year, but our goals this year are more centered on the little things than the end result; stuff we do every day and utilizing every minute of gym time.”

“If we continue to improve as much as we have been these past few weeks, we will have an extremely successful season,” Vick said.

Some of the returning players to look out for are junior Camille Alvarez and senior Sarah Vick with combined kills of 393 during last year’s season. Along with sophomore Kelly Vitt who had 301 assists and Nicole Texido with 262 digs.

“This year we are more of a blocking team than last year. We have a lot of height and are making blocking more of a focus for our defense,” Vick said.

Last year the Lakers ended their season with 25 wins, the most the program has had since 1993. The team also had wins over every team is the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Western Division.

“We have some new skills and other technical volleyball things we are focusing this year, but we are also working on our mental toughness. Volleyball is such a game of momentum and so far we have been doing really well with keeping our heads where we need to be,” Vick said.

The Lakers’ next match will be a tournament hosted in Finlay, Ohio. from Sept. 13-15, against University of Southern Indiana, Rockhurst University, and University of Findlay.