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The Student News Site of Rock Bridge High School

Bearing News

The Student News Site of Rock Bridge High School

Bearing News

Volleyball falls to Hickman in districts, ends season looking toward the future

Freshman Ella Swindle makes a serve during practice Oct. 16. “The main challenge we faced was overcoming our mid season slump,” Ella Swindle said, “I think we were all very tired which led to a few unfortunate losses”. Photo by Ana Manzano

In a tight match at Warrenton High School, the girls’ volleyball team fell to Hickman High School during the second round of the district tournament Wednesday despite ousting them a few weeks prior. With the score 0-2, 15-25 in the first set and 22-25 in the second, the Bruins’ season ends after a 24-11-1 overall record.The team had an accomplished season, as this year was the first primarily successful season since 2014. 

On Tuesday, the first day of the tournament, the Bruins took on Battle High School (BHS) and came out with a 2-0 win, 25-10 in the first set and 25-14 in the final set. 

For junior Emma Roush, the game against Hickman, a team comprised mainly by seniors, required more emotional strength than physical capabilities from each player. The relatively young group needed all of their efforts to try and pull themselves out of a tough situation.

“This game challenged our team mentally,” Roush said. “The team has such amazing skills, and when it comes together we can be unstoppable, but it comes down to mental toughness, as well.”

In addition to the loss at districts, the team went through a mid-season slump during the first week of October. The Bruins lost four games in a row, which depleted the confidence within the team. The following games, however, the Bruins were able to come back victorious against BHS and Blair Oaks High School. This success helped change the team’s attitude and way of viewing losses, head volleyball coach, Nicole Murphy, said. The downfalls also fueled their next key wins in the regular season, and showed the team that they were capable and deserving of triumph.

“There’s a big difference [between] stepping on the court to play and just showing up to a game,” Murphy said. “The girls know I expect a lot from them, so I think they know that I have those high expectations for them, and they in turn hold themselves accountable.”

One of Murphy’s goals is for the players to develop better communication skills. She said she believes they have two extremes when it comes to relaying information, either flawlessness or lack thereof, and wants to make headway on this issue. 

The improvements the team made throughout the season, however, also inspire Murphy while watching each game. Their progress individually and as a group is visible to her during competitive play.

“I would say learning to play together as one big functioning unit would motivate the girls,” Murphy said. “Everyone doing their job at the right time not only feels amazing but looks like a well orchestrated dance number when everyone moves in sync with each other.” 

With only senior Kennedy Robbins graduating this year, the rest of the girls hope to come back strong. Junior Kelly Barnes said she, along with the rest of the team, have a fighting spirit for next year. They want to go farther into post-season and improve upon their games.

“Tonight was not the outcome we wanted because we beat Hickman last time we played and just couldn’t figure out how to play as a team tonight and get the win.” Barnes said. “Every girl on this team is more motivated than ever, we are going in to club season ready to get better, so we can have a different outcome next year.”

While the end result is unfortunate, the girls are closer than ever. Their bonding throughout the past three months made it easier for them to work together during games and persevere through rough times, Barnes said. Roush agreed with Barnes on how the aspect of teamwork boosted the team’s spirit.

“We have a lot of talent and hard working girls who are ready to win.” Roush said. “My teammates are honestly my best friends, and it makes me so happy to see us all succeed.”

In addition, Murphy is especially pleased with how far the girls have come since preseason. She said she believes their positive outlook built their mental and physical standard and is already preparing them for next year.

“I am proud of the way we performed this season, and I am proud of the way the girls listened to everything I taught them and their willingness to learn,” Murphy said. “And I am proud to be their coach.”

How do you deal with unfavorable outcomes in competition? Let us know in the comments below.


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About the Contributor
Anjali Noel Ramesh
Anjali Noel Ramesh, Editor-in-Chief
Senior Anjali Noel Ramesh is one of two Editors-in-Chief for Southpaw and Bearing News. She enjoys playing tennis and traveling. In her free time, she listens to music and spends time outside.

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