Women’s volleyball thinks bigger than ranks

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Despite the fourth rank in the Pacific West Conference, the women’s volleyball team believes that consistency will prove the team to be even higher.

The Dixie State University women’s volleyball team is accepting nothing short of a top-two ranking, said libero Alex Anderson, a senior integrated studies major from Prescott, Arizona.

“Last year we were picked eighth,” Anderson said. “So I think getting picked fourth is good, but personally we think we should be one or two. This year we want to prove our point that we are this good.”

   Head coach Robyn Felder agreed and said the rank is good for the team because it shows that it is in the top five out of 14 teams, but she said the team’s goals are higher. 

“We have to be able to back [our goals] up,” Felder said. “So unless we can consistently perform, we can’t do that. This is a good start for us because we are looking to build up from here.”

Felder said winning is going to be a byproduct of what the team is going to be doing in the gym every day this year.

The team finished third in the conference with a 17-10 overall record last year and will see every starter back on the court except for one.

Anderson said Felder brought in some talented new freshmen from places as far as Hawaii and Oregon, as well as one junior college transfer from Bakersfield, California. 

The team will be heading to Seattle to face California State University, Los Angeles and California State University, Chico in a four-game series. Felder said though this will not count for the PacWest record, this will be a good time to keep the team on its toes and determine what it needs to work on to succeed for the rest of the season.

“When we go to Seattle, we are looking to compete and we are looking to play well, but we are looking at where we need to get better,” Felder said. “So it just gives us an opportunity to get in the gym and see some competition.”

Felder said the main thing the Storm want to improve is their statistics. She said they have a certain set of numbers for passing and hitting they want to maintain, and as soon as they hit those goals, they will win games.  

Along with focusing on its numbers, the team is paying close attention to its serving and passing.

“I think the part we need to get better on is recognizing who the hitters are and making adjustments,” Felder said. “And then our offense, when we were in system we were great … but offensively we just need to get better at putting the ball away.”

Felder said she saw those mistakes during the alumni game on Aug. 30, but she also said she saw a lot of strengths in the team, such as defense.

Anderson agreed and said one of the team’s strongest points is defense. She said what helps on that part is the women coming in extra time for extra reps.

Dixie defeated the alumni 5-1 during the alumni game. Not only was it competitive, but it was a learning experience for the women.

“The great thing is that the alumni wasn’t a game full of old ladies — I mean the alumni was great team,” Felder said. “It was great for us to play against a good defense and it just kind of gets us into the feel of the season.”

Felder said she didn’t feel like the game was just for fun — she felt like it was a chance for the team to get some good reps.

The volleyball team will face Cal State, Los Angeles in a two-game series on Friday and will face Cal State, Chico in another two-game series on Saturday.