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Volleyball splits games in Florida

The Pittsburg State volleyball team went 2-2 in their four games in Fort Lauderdale, Flor. during Labor Day weekend. 

Over the four games, the team played teams from Florida, Massachusetts, and Illinois. These schools consisted of Quincy University, Nova Southeastern University, Lynn University, and Stonehill University. The team played two games on Friday and two games on Saturday. 

The team was victorious against Quincy University and Stonehill University, winning three sets to none in a best of five match. The team fell three sets to one against Nova Southeastern University and Lynn University. 

There were a lot of takeaways from the weekend regarding things the team did well and some things that the team could improve upon. 

“I loved the fight from my team and hustle on defense,” head coach Jen Gomez said. “I think we got better each time we stepped on the court.”

Hustle, dedication, and fight are things that coaches can’t teach, so knowing that she saw all three of those attributes from her team in their first few games is very promising. Not only did Coach Gomez see a lot of positives, but sophomore middle-hitter Kate Bandre had a few things that stuck out to her as well.

“I was most impressed with how positively and passionately our team played throughout the weekend,” Bandre said. “We didn’t let adversity stop us and played for each other every single point.”

On the flip side of that, there is still room for improvement if they want to be the best they can be. 

“I think we need to continue to work on spreading the ball offensively and working to get better swings out of the system,” Gomez said. “I also know we have to get better with our blocking.”

These things aren’t an easy fix, but can be improved upon with practice. 

“For this being our first tournament of the season, we can only see growth from here,” redshirt junior middle-blocker Emily Hadenberg said. “The one thing we will keep getting better at is being able to keep our energy and effort always at 100% no matter the game or situation.”

The potential for this team is higher than it’s been in the past couple seasons, and with a lot of hard work and dedication to perfecting their game, the sky is the limit for the Gorillas.

“I think our team has a lot of potential this season,” Bandre said. “If we continue our positive culture, I believe we can place at the top of the MIAA tournament.”

The trip was a success for the Gorillas, on and off the court. The team got to be together in Florida, play the game they love, and even got a day to hangout at the beach.

“Besides actually playing volleyball which was so much fun and the only reason we got to go, the best part was being able to be on the beach with my teammates and have some fun,” Hadenberg said.

The Pittsburg State Gorilla volleyball team will play at home Sept. 11 in the Gorilla Classic Tournament. The teams that are involved in the tournament include University of Sioux Falls, Truman University, Northwestern Oklahoma State University, and University of Saint Mary’s. 

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