The Samford volleyball team has been on fire this season. They are ranked second in SoCon, with a conference record of 8-4 and an overall record of 13-13. In comparison to last year, senior right side Elise Watford gives credit to the development of the team’s chemistry.
“We’ve improved so much this season compared to last season when the majority of the team was new,” Watford said.
Sophomore defensive specialist Gabbi Cerasoli agreed, and explained how they got the opportunity to “gain more experience and to bond as a team.”
As a unit, some of the players explained how the team has improved in comparison to last year. “As a team, we’ve improved in a lot of skill areas like serving pressure and passing,” Senior outside hitter Krista Boesing said. “We’ve also improved in many intangible yet important areas like showing resilience after losing a few points.”
The Bulldogs have also given credit to their individual growth in their abilities. Boesing mentioned how her game has developed over her four years at Samford and how much her handwork is showing in areas such as shot selection and blocking.
Cerasoli poseed a confidence boost from last year’s team to this year.
“We have developed consistency and team chemistry,” the sophomore said.
Just like other sports teams, the volleyball team has their own pregame routine as a unit and as individuals.
“Pregame schedules include a lot, like eating our pregame meal as a team and a serve and pass session before warm ups,” Boesing said. “No pregame routine would be complete without our team jam session in the locker room.”
Cerasoli agreed, stating that the team turns up before each game in the locker room “to get hype and ready for the game.” Watford said the team always prays before every game.
As the Samford volleyball team continues to improve in conference play, they continue to work hard in practice, which involves sharpening their skills as well as emphasizing on their weaknesses. One thing Cerasoli mentioned that the team needs to work on to be successful in the future is their energy in hostile environments.
“We need to work on having the ability to create mojo in situations where the atmosphere isn’t as lively as we want,” Watford said.
One thing that is stressed among the Bulldogs is pushing each other in practice and games.
“As a team, we’re all working on playing consistently good volleyball from the physical skills to the mental discipline. We need both to be successful and the more we make this a habit and push each other to be better consistently, the better prepared we will be to face tough teams in the tournament,” Boesing said.
Their next game will be at The Citadel on Nov. 2 at 5 p.m. CST. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3. The SoCon Championship Tournament will begin Nov. 16 and end Nov. 18 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
[photo courtesy of Samford Athletics]