By Collin Schmid
The women’s volleyball team has been serving up a very successful season so far this year. Their overall record is 14-9 and 8-4 in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC). With a great deal of experienced players and a talented freshmen class, the volleyball team looks to continue its success leading into post-season.The Lady Pioneers started off the season on a high note by winning all of their matches at the Hall of Fame City Challenge from Sept. 1-2. From there, they traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah and competed in the Westminster Invitational and went 1-3. After losing to Walsh at home, the Pioneers really shined as they won seven consecutive matches. This marks the Pioneers first seven-match winning streak since the 2011 season. From their win against Lake Erie, the team moved up to first place in the East Division Conference along with The University of Findlay.Since volleyball is a sport with lots of energy, there are a great deal of moments during the game where the crowd gets really hyped, whether it’s a great block or a spike.“Whenever our team blocks a spike or spikes it and we get a point, that’s when I get the most hyped,” Jeremy Davis, freshman pastoral ministry major and volleyball fan, said. “It’s a sport where a lot can happen and can be very fast paced with lots of intense moments.”Besides the amazing record so far this season, the lady Pioneers have bonded closer and have become one tight family. “Besides volleyball, we’re learning about Jesus and putting different aspects into the game,” Mallory Adams, junior mid-hitter and outside hitter, said. “Making the connections and friendships through volleyball has been such an amazing experience and it’s what God is currently doing in my life.”Every season has its ups and downs and this year is no different than the past.“Our team’s biggest challenge is sustaining the emotional and mental stamina to compete, practice and prepare day in and day out,” Tanya Hockman, head volleyball coach, said. “The season is a marathon. We have lacked consistency in several key areas and that lack of consistency is reflected in our overall record.”Adding on that, Adams said that her biggest challenge this year was not a specific team she has played, but herself.“I’ve gotten a lot of playing time this year and I’m playing all the way around, so I don’t really get a break,” Adams said. “My brain sometimes tells me ‘I can’t do this’, ‘I’m too tired’, ‘I’m not good enough’ and I shut down pretty easily.”The team is looking to improve on their G-MAC standing and make it farther into post-season than they did last year. They are currently in third place in the G-MAC East Division standings. Adams said she has high hopes for the team to succeed this postseason.“We’re hoping we can win this year’s tournament and then move on to NCAA D2 tournament which is huge because we have so much potential this year,” Adams said. “At the beginning of this season we were ranked 11 out of 12 in the G-MAC and throughout the season we have just kept going up and up in the standings.”The Pioneers have two more road matches at Ursuline and Lake Erie before heading on to the G-MAC tournament.