Cards hope to bounce back in conference play


Niki Smithers

Sophomore Tiana Wright jumps to hit the ball over the net.

Conference Indiana has multiple winning teams in it such as the Perry Meridian Falcons, Bloomington South Panthers and the Bloomington North Cougars, but the SHS girls volleyball team hasn’t been that fortunate this year.

The Cards are in last place in Conference Indiana with a losing conference record of 0-3 and an overall losing record of 6-15. They haven’t been having the year they were expecting to have. Even though they haven’t been doing as well as they would’ve hoped to be having, the team’s 6-15 record is actually very similar to the Columbus North Bulldogs’ record of 8-17. The Cards only have two less wins but also have two less losses. With this in mind, the team is confident  and they are ready to fight for every point at the Conference Indiana tournament.

The team’s first game may prove to be a testament of will though since their first match is against the 16-5 Terre Haute South Vigo Braves. The number four ranked Braves have a conference record of 1-1 and are ranked 41st in the state and the Southport High School cardinals are ranked a mere 239th in the state.

The Braves also have a distinctive home field advantage considering the meet is being held at Terre Haute South Vigo High School. They also have a winning home record of 2-1 so far this year.

Even with another obstacle in the team’s way to becoming a better team, some of the team members refuse to be discouraged by these facts and think it will only make them stronger overall.

“I think a lot of the hitters have started knowing better where to put the balls at,” senior Britton Whitlock said.

The hitter is the main offensive striker and is relied on for the big scoring opportunities. When the hitters don’t play well, less point scoring opportunities can be capitalized on and this can lead to a team’s losses.

Whitlock also believes that the team is getting a lot better at adjusting to the right side when on the defensive stance, and adjusting to the correct sides based on how they have been playing the rest of the game.

With their defense starting to learn and adapt to the opposing team’s offense, and their offense starting to get better placement while hitting the ball, the team as a whole is improving and ready to take on the challenges that they will face in the Conference tournament.

“We think we are going to have to fight as hard as we can to get as far as we can in conference,” sophomore Kierston Whitlock said. “Anything we can do to fight hard will help us in the end.”

Kierston Whitlock believes that the team in general has to work on the communication part of volleyball, work more as a team than individually and thinks that they are getting there slowly, but surely and with a little bit more work they will get where they have been wanting to be all year.

She also thinks that the team does have some things that they are doing correctly and they are doing well. This includes being able to defend against the other team. They try their best not to let anything drop to the court, and she thinks that is what is going to help the team out in a big way when they get to their conference match.

“We are working very hard at practice,” Kierston Whitlock said. “We are doing a bunch of fast paced drills, we are doing a bunch of serving drills, and we are just doing everything that we can.”

Coach Chelsea Brothers says that in order for this team to succeed they are going to have to start holding themselves and their teammates accountable. The girls have to each do their job for the team to be successful.

“We have been incorporating more competition into practice and drills that are forcing the players to open their mouths and get on each other,” coach Brothers said. “They have to be able to do this for the team to be in the position they are looking for.”

According to coach Brothers, the girls don’t give up, and it can be very hard to do this with the record they have, but they are really pushing through it. Brothers thinks that the team does have a shot at exceeding their expectations though, if we can play hard every point and limit our unforced errors I think we can make a move in sectionals.

“They are going to get prepared by pushing each other harder to make each other better,” coach Brothers said. “The coach can only do so much and then it is up to them to go as hard as they can in practice. Also, we will really work on serve receive so we can have that first pass to do something with the ball.”

So even though there are these obstacles in the team’s way, the coach and multiple team members still have faith in this team.

So even though there are many obstacles standing in their way, the Lady Cards and their coaches remain hopeful.