Whitman Volleyball had won four straight games, including its senior night on October 28 when they travelled south of Walla Walla to Oregon for their final two games of the season. While the season did not end quite on the note that they had hoped for, the team improved on its record from last year and finished fourth in the league with a 9-7 in-league record. This provides a whole lot to look forward to next year.
“This year’s team had an interesting dynamic because of our seven returners, nine first-years and no returning sophomores. Nevertheless, our team has become an extremely tight-knit family where we can be open and honest with each other. Since volleyball is very much a team sport, our team has built a trust in each other that is hard to match. Our culture is based on our four core values–one heart, competitive, committed, and selfless—and we strive to embody these values everyday on and off the court,” junior captain Codie Conching said.
It is clear to anyone who watched the team this year that the four core values listed above are in full effect on the hardwood. This year’s squad was also sure to tip their caps to how important the seniors were to this year’s season, and how they wanted to impact their seniors’ last few games.
“It is extremely important to me for us to be competitive and give our all on senior night,” Conching stated. “It is always a goal to get our seniors the win, but I am more focused on playing for my seniors and having them remember their last experience as a positive one.”
The night was more than positive as the Blues served a 3-1 rout to the visiting Pioneers. Winning on senior night and the bond that the unit shares, stems not only from hours of practice in Sherwood, but from a less visible source as well: mental training.
“Courtney Thompson came in to talk to us about training the mental side of the game. I think that really helped us find our flow, and get in the right mindset. We talk about it everyday in practice – the game of volleyball is not just about getting a perfect pass or a perfect set – it’s also a mental game,” junior Brooke Randall explained.
Cornering the mental and physical aspects of the game, combined with a commitment to playing with intensity every point makes it easy to understand the excitement that has been generated for next year. A core group of four seniors and a large contingent of sophomores that are already used to battling the giants of the league all contribute to the thinking that the Blues’ Volleyball team will be one of the best shows in town next fall.