By Lethbridge Herald on December 12, 2023.
By Justin Seward
The Lethbridge College Kodiaks women’s volleyball struggled through the first semester of play and will look to rely on team culture building in hopes of a successful second half.
“I think our biggest battle right now is just getting our team culture to where we want it if I’m going to be totally honest,” said Anna Schwark, Kodiaks head coach.
“With a young group and not a lot of experience, it’s tough to kind of manage our expectations coming off such a successful last season. I think a lot of us kind of assumed it would just carry on and we got a little bit lazy putting in the work for the team culture.”
Schwark said it’s definitely been a learning curve.
“Like with a such a young group, a lot of the girls in leadership roles don’t have experience,” said Schwark.
“A lot of girls getting court time right now don’t have a lot of experience, whether they were a part of this program last year or not … That lack of experience is really showing and so they’re kind of figuring out, OK how do we learn how to keep ourselves accountable, and keep each other accountable and keep everybody on track. And I think everybody’s really appreciating the work that like past team captains have put in and realizing wow we have to put in a lot of work to really get everybody together on the same page and stay motivated because losing is not easy.”
Schwark has seen improvements since September.
“They all came in super strong in September and every day like our goal is just to get one per cent better,” said Schwark.
“Like individually and in a lot of ways as a team, we’ve been one per cent better every day since we started.”
Schwark saw the team’s middles of Shane Fowlie and Eryka Woods have a great first semester.
“They’ve been super consistent,” said Schwark.
“They’re getting a lot more touches in training this season than last year. So I think just mentally, they’re both feeling a lot more confident even though they both did awesome last season.”
Both first year liberos of Reanna Gage and Quincey Price had strong first halves.
“We’ve been able to run Quincey in serve-receive and Rea as defensive libero,” said Schwark.
“So it’s been really nice that we’re consistently able to get them both in matches because they both have really earned the court time.”
Schwark has also noticed Taryn Bach and she has been able to get her hands on the ball on second contacts when the team hasn’t been hitting well.
Schwark hopes the team keeps putting in the work in order to start second semester off stronger.
“We’ve got some good competition again but I think a more manageable second half,” said Schwark.
“We just got to get to the place where everybody’s got that confidence again to really compete. I think once all that’s in place, then yeah we’re definitely skilled enough to be winning games.”
The Kodiak women sit sixth in a seven team South Division with a 2-7 record.
The Kodiak women’s volleyball will open up the second half on the road at Concordia on Jan.12 and the King’s University on Jan.13.