Volleyball Battles Top Teams Over Halloweekend

Updated: Nov 8

By Lilyen McCarthy

Two years since their last competition season, Adelphi volleyball entered the 2021 season with a sixth overall predicted ranking. Halfway through conference matchups, the team held a 3-4 record, ninth overall in the NE10 conference. The team struggled to determine the reason for such a turn of events after a high outlook at the beginning of the season. Junior setter Brenna Valsted attributed some of the unexpected losses to the team’s age and lack of collegiate experience.

Pre-Covid Black Friday shopping at Walmart Photo by laurieofindy

“The majority of the starting lineup is freshmen or girls who haven’t played collegiate volleyball before this semester. It’s not volleyball, nor skills. We have that. It’s completely mental,” Valsted said.

Walking into the weekend with their ninth overall ranking, the Lady Panthers needed a win over No. 2 Bentley and No. 4 Stonehill to break out of their losing slump.

The game against Bentley on Friday, Oct. 29 went in the Panthers favor: a huge upset three sets to one. Saturday’s game on Oct. 30 against Stonehill was an intense five-set battle, but the Panthers fell just short of victory, losing 18-16 in the fifth set. Despite the disheartening loss against Stonehill, senior libero (four-time NE10 player of the week) Jamie Yonker said she felt the team is finally back on track.

Jamie Yonker serves in a recent volleyball game.

“This weekend just proved what I already know. We are here to compete, and we need to come out with the same mindset we had this weekend and play our game,” Yonker said.

The 1-1 weekend record keeps the Lady Panthers at a ninth conference standing with four more conference matches left in the season.

“Consistency has been our downfall,” Yonker commented on the previous play. “As long as we bring out the same team I saw this weekend, we’ll continue to do well.”

The team’s hope for post season lies completely in their hands. Four wins keeps their play going while too many losses could end it. Come support the team at their next home game, Friday, Nov. 12 against Saint Michael’s College.

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