Volleyball ends season without conference bid

WITH FOUR SENORS GRADUATING, the Lady Jets are signing seven incoming freshmen during the early signing period. Courtesy Photo, Newman Athletics

The Newman Volleyball team had a difficult year full of injuries, which did not allow them to make it to conference for the first time in recent years. 

On Nov. 9, the Jets lost their last season game to Arkansas – Fort Smith finishing the 2017 season with an overall 11-20 record. Destiny Clark, head coach of the team, said the season was difficult for the team because of constant health problems.

“This volleyball season was a tough one for us. We had to overcome, despite a few players having untimely injuries,” she said. “It gave me a good idea of what some of my younger players are capable of and what all my players are like in the mental toughness department.”

Clark said they did not do as well as they would have liked, but they have learned a lot about themselves and despite the results, they are motivated to work hard. 

With four seniors who are graduating this year, the team will have several open spots. Clark said she recruited players who would help the team to grow.

“We are signing seven incoming freshmen this week during early signing period and that’s exciting,” Clark said. “I am really happy with the 2018 recruiting class and I think they will make a huge impact on our program next year.”  

Coach said that their focus in the spring semester will be to improve players’ strength and explosiveness in the weight room as well as refining techniques of individual players on the court.

Junior Yemima Buana said the season was not highly successful for them.

“It was a tough season for the team because we had a lot of brand new girls coming in. And a lot of the girls coming in were really young,” she said. “So, they did not get used to playing collegiate level and it took us a longer time to build that chemistry to play.” 

Buana said the results did not meet the expectations of the team and the coaches.

“She expected a lot more. I am thinking she even wanted us to win the entire conference,” she said. “This is the first year since I have ever been here that we have not got to conference.”

Buana said the next season has to be better for the team because all of the new girls will be already sophomores and they will be more prepared and aware of how everything works. 

The 2018 season is going to be the last one for her.

“I want people remember me as a good player, not a selfish one, who supported teammates,” she said. “I just want to be a leader for the team and I want to be someone that they are not afraid to talk to. Usually in the teams, girls are afraid to go to seniors, because they feel seniors are mean, but I want to be that person who is there for everyone.”

She said she wants to make the 2018 season as the most memorable and successful for her as a part of Jets family.

“We have to make it to the conference or even beat everyone,” Buana said.

Senior Sarah Peterson said she thinks the injuries became the main reason of not those results the team expected.

“We worked really hard however the outcome was not what we wanted. We had a few injuries that also hurt us as a team.” 

This story first appeared in the November 16, 2017 issue of The Vantage.