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Volleyball works to improve ODAC standing

Liz Levey, ‘Doah Staff Writer
September 18, 2013

'Doah photo courtesy of SU Athletics

‘Doah photo courtesy of SU Athletics

As warm-ups wrap up and the game is set to start, the Shenandoah University women’s volleyball team huddles together and starts their “I believe” cheer. As their voices rise and echo throughout every gym they enter, the team lets every opponent know that they believe the Lady Hornets will win.

This year the ODAC ranked the Hornet’s volleyball ninth in their preseason standings. Coach Jaime Terenzi, who is in her fourth season at the helm of the Hornets team said, “It was very disheartening to be ranked ninth but I believe that it gave the ladies more drive on the court. They want to show up and make a statement.”

During preseason the team gained six strong freshmen that added more depth to the squad.  Terenzi praised this group. “They have made a huge impact not with just their play but with their attitude as well.” Senior co-captain Katy Griffith echoed her coach’s statement, “We lost five seniors last year that were all very good players. This year we are building our team to become stronger starting with the upperclassmen and finishing with the six freshmen that are new to this team.”

This year is an important one for the Hornets as they aspire to finish in the top four in the ODAC. “Last year was a bump in the road, we didn’t play the way we would have liked. We had to adjust to the ODAC,” said Terenzi. Now having experience in the ODAC, the team has made changes in the way they compete amongst the conference.

“We’re trying to speed up the offense to really compete with the teams in the ODAC as well as finding our rotations that work best,” said senior co-captain Haley Smith.

Throughout the team, a message of change has come about. There has been a divide between freshmen and upperclassmen in the past, but Terenzi has noticed something different this year. “There is a stronger bond between the girls. They are working together to become a better squad; most importantly they are having fun.”

Junior Samantha Schamach has also noticed a change in her third season with the Hornets. “We went from a team last year that would give up, to a team that wants to win and leave everything out on the court.”

As the volleyball team tradition goes before every game, junior Rachel Gross prints out an inspirational quote for the team which all the girls place in their shoes to take out on the court with them. One of them recently read “I am building a fire, and everyday I train, I add more fuel. At just the right moment, I light the match. – Mia Hamm.” Check out the women’s volleyball team at home versus Gettysburg on Wednesday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m.

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