Coming off a shaky 14-20 season last year, the Montclair State University women’s volleyball team knew that something had to change.
They have had a young team these past two years, which can be a struggle when it comes to winning games. Improvement was needed for this season, and it seems like the Red Hawks have figured it out. With a 14-6 record, their hopes are high going into the postseason.
“I think our level of play is being a little bit more consistent, we’re working very hard and I think this year, unlike last year, we’re bouncing back in games and we’re able to make runs,” said head coach Eddie Stawinski. “Also when we fall down a couple points, we’re able to get those points back and continue to play hard throughout the set, one of the things that we struggled with last year.”
Consistency is key when it comes to making a successful volleyball team, and that is one of the things that the Red Hawks have done well this year. Being able to win on both home and away courts is important, especially when it comes to conference games.
Montclair State is 8-1 at home this year, a great improvement from the 6-5 record last year. The team has a lot of momentum going into the offseason soon with lots of potential to win big.
“I think we are hitting our stride the perfect time in the season towards the end,” Stawinski said. “We have a lot of nonconference games coming up that I think are going to help us prepare for the postseason.”
Young players such as freshmen outside hitters Carly Waterman and Leah Higgins have been key in bringing the Red Hawks to the top this year. They lead the team in kills and continue to play consistently.
Senior setter Ashley Griffith keeps giving the team lots of opportunities for kills, while sophomore libero Alexandra Campos has been making sure that nothing gets past the Red Hawks’ defense. On top of these players, all 19 girls on Montclair State’s roster have been making a tremendous effort this season.
“I think everybody from our number one player to our 19 players are doing a very good job at keeping our team with it,” Stawinski said. “I think everybody is a key player for us this year.”
The Red Hawks finished up their conference play last Tuesday night with a sweep over Rutgers University-Newark. They are 5-3 in conference play and look to improve even more as they only have three games left in the regular season. A New Jersey Athletic Conference win could be in the works for Montclair State this season.