By: Matthew Revels, Sports Editor
It was a rough season for Newman’s volleyball team, which finished with a record of 0-28. The team was swept in 23 of its matches and won only seven of its 94 sets played.
But there was one positive to come out of the season: Junior Ozioma Ajekwu was named an All-MIAA honorable mention for the second year in a row.
Though second-year head coach Marisa Compton did not respond in time for publication to questions from The Vantage about what went wrong this season, several players shared their thoughts.
Junior Kaylyn Disbrow said she has high hopes for her senior year – even though 2023 didn't go as planned.
“The season was obviously full of a lot of heartache,” Disbrow said. “It was disappointing that we couldn’t figure it out on the court because off the court, our dynamic was great. I have full faith that next year, we will turn a 180 and leave the program better than how we found it.”
Senior Olivia Parsley said that the team's record does not reflect the work the players put in.
“A big positive to come out was the work ethic the team showed,” she said. “Even after losing straight sets or losing a close one, everyone on the team still held their heads high, went to classes the next day and came into practice ready to work harder than the day before. No one gave up on the season, which I think is huge and a really good positive.”
Parsley, who has played her last season at Newman, offered some advice to future Jet generations.
“...Always play with each other,” she said. “At the end of the day, the girls beside you are the ones you’re going to win or lose with. It is a team sport, so it’s a lot more fun to do it together and for each other. I think it’s important to remember, too, that not just one person is going to win or lose the game. It's the whole team. So really sticking together is what’s going to help in the long run and give everyone lasting friendships.”
Disbrow said she shared the same feelings as Parsley, but her perspective is a bit different since she’ll play another season at Newman.
“If I could give any advice to future teams at Newman, it would be to not be afraid of change,” she said. “I know it may take time, but Newman University can and will be successful. I look forward to putting in the work and leadership to help change the culture of athletics at Newman. Be proud to be a Jet.”
PHOTO: Courtesy photo, Newman Athletics