Hawks enter first conference matchup with resilience

Britney Dixon, Managing Editor

Since the season began, the RWU women’s volleyball team has been on a mission to defeat some of the toughest competitors of their season.

In preparation for their first Commonwealth Coast Conference night of the season, head coach Danielle Soubliere seeked out competitive invitationals, including Rivier College that finished 12th in the region last year. After returning from Costa Rica and seeing how aggressive play was there, the team was reminded of their goals.

“It’s about putting everything together as a team, right now, to play to the best of our ability,” Soubliere said.

Soubliere is working toward getting the team focused on one game at a time.

Switching the team’s mindset for their conference match against Gordon College is key. According to Soubliere, the team needs to be more resilient.

“Our games against Gordon, I feel like they’re just always a battle. They just never give up,” Soubliere said.

The last time the Hawks saw Gordon across the net was last season’s ‘Dig Pink’ game where they pulled out a victory in three back-and-forth matches. Right now, RWU sits just above Gordon in the conference standings at third.

The biggest task for RWU is to improve their defense and match the aggression of their opponents. They need to continue the mentality they’ve had in previous games and buy in as one, which Soubliere thinks the new members are doing very well.

The entire week of practice leading up to Gordon honed in on defense, transitional hitting and serve-receive drills. The players understood the goals of every drill and kept a positive attitude throughout practice, even with a few drop balls.

“Don’t let the ball decide that the point is over, you decide,” Soubliere said to her team.

Soubliere thinks there’s definitely room to improve before CCC games start to come more frequently – which means they need to set higher expectations.

According to senior captain Nicki Fallisi, the pressure only adds to the excitement.

“I think we need to focus on what we’re going to do more than what Gordon’s going to do,” Fallisi said. “But if we bring our defensive work from practice to the game, it’s definitely going to be really good.”