Volleyball team notches its most wins in four seasons

By Mathew Starner

After consecutive disappointing seasons, a head coaching change has already made this volleyball team the most successful at Mac since 2006. In her first year, head coach Annie Doman has brought her team a midyear 8-9 record.”The new coach has brought a lot of new energy and optimism to the team,” Glasha Marcon ’13 said.

Doman has also supplemented the team’s success with a focus on defense. “There wasn’t always emphasis on defense [in past seasons]”, Marcon said. “She’s run a lot of defensive drills, which helps a lot because we are in a strong conference with really good hitters.”

Despite the impression she has made, Doman still appreciates the team that she sends out onto the court. “We have very talented young athletes,” she said. “When they put forth the effort and have the right attitude, they have the power to put teams away.”

Players have spotted the difference between last year and this year already in opponents from both years. “We’ve seen the best that we’re going to see this year, so that helps us adjust our game and speed up the pace,” Majra Mucic ’11 said. “Teams that we would have taken to four or five games last year, we’re now taking in three.”

The roster is also competitive with two freshmen in starting roles: Laura Avena ’14 and Bailey Rehnberg ’14. The competition has proven to be positive for the team. “Having that competition on the team has helped us become a lot better,” she said. “I’ve seen improvements in Bailey over this last month just knowing that it’s not a guaranteed spot.”

Rehnberg, however, does not see making the starting spot as any added external stress. “Playing in games is an added goal, and the only pressure to get on the court is pressure I put on myself,” Rehnberg said.

The added depth on the roster has added to the early success of this year, but structural changes in practices have also ensured the Scots a better chance going into each match.

“We run practices differently, we’ve incorporated a lot of conditioning so we’re ready for the long five-game matches,” Mucic said.

An increase in conditioning is appreciated, and has helped make the difference compared to past years. “A problem last year would be we got really tired since I don’t think we conditioned enough during practice,” Marcon said. “That has been a value that Annie has shown is important.”

Doman has also tried to bring attention to many other details in the team’s matches. “We have been emphasizing reacting to the ball sooner and anticipating what our opponents are going to do.

“The biggest goal is compete with every team. When we show up, we can compete with any team so it is important to have that mentality in every match we play,” Doman said.