Following another two losses on Tuesday night to Greenville and St. Mary of the Woods, in which Knox varsity women’s volleyball fell 3-0 and 3-1 respectively, the team has one game left against Monmouth over Homecoming weekend to hopefully add to the left side of their current 10-10 record.
Last year, Knox Volleyball went 6-9 in their total league games. The year before, they went 7-7, and in 2014, they went 4-9. The balancing of wins and losses that is currently being seen for the 2017 season is one that solidifies Knox’s ability to win, but watching the losses build up can be a detriment to team morale as well.
“The way I see it, it sucks that we’ve been losing because I know how good of a team we areÉ if we could win these last few games, that would be great.” Freshman Maika Padilla said.
Although having so far racked up as many wins as losses this season, there’s no doubt that the team is talented. Freshman and libero Mady Ferris is currently in the running in a division3sports.com poll for best defensive digs, of which she has had 569 this season. She is one of only two freshmen elected from across the country for the poll, averaging 5.80 digs per set. Ferris is up against players like University of Valley Forge senior Brittany Eberly, who was named USCAA’s Player of the Week in September, and University of Minnesota-Morris senior Katie Reitsma, whose 650 total digs this season places her at the top in all of Division III Volleyball.
Varsity has also welcomed an additional eight freshmen who now make up nearly half the team of 18 girls, a serious step up from the three freshmen who joined last year and greatly outnumbering the three current seniors, making this the youngest and biggest team in the past few years for Knox Women’s Volleyball.
First-year and defensive specialist Maika Padilla has been playing volleyball since she was 14, when she discovered that her initial interest and skill in basketball inspired her to try something else.
“I thought, ‘why don’t I try volleyball?’… I just got so into it. I loved it and I’ve been playing ever since,” Padilla said.
Padilla says that while the team has faced many a loss in their 2017 season so far, this is no indication that the team is void of skill.
“We are a good team,” she said. “As individuals, we are all great players. Those losses that we had, they just as easily could have been wins, but what we need to work on as a team is having chemistry.”
Like in many team sports, reliance on teammates is what makes or breaks a match. With sports like basketball and soccer, it’s easy for a talented player to slip into ball hog mode, preferring personal glory over team victory. But for volleyball being selfish is impossible. A single player cannot hit the ball twice in a row and there is a maximum of three individual hits per side, and because of that, confidence in one’s teammates is the foundation of not only every great team, but any great volleyball team.
Knox is set to play for their final game against Monmouth College on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Gymnasium.