The Jackets volleyball team collected its 19th loss of the season Tuesday falling to Thiel in straight sets, 3-0. Not a lot went the Jackets way during the match. For head coach Hayley Kirby, the main problem was a lack of cohesiveness.
“We just weren’t playing as a team,” Kirby said. “We had spurts where we played well, but we let runs go and let them get too many points at a time.”
Kirby said the team did make necessary changes, but by the time they came, it was too little, too late.
“We waited until like the second or third set to make the adjustments we needed to make,” she said. “Our communication was bad. I think we need to communicate more with our hitters our passing and everything.”
Kirby mentioned a few positives, however, noting some solid individual performances.
“Mallory Stopko did really well…Thiel’s game plan was to keep the ball away from her and for her to have 11 digs is pretty good,” Kirby said.
Kayla Stohan, was another player who impressed Kirby, leading the team in blocks with three. Kirby said the team needs to find a way to increase Stohan’s involvement and thus, her impact.
“We just need to feed her [Stohan] the ball a little bit more,” Kirby said. “She doesn’t get set too often. I don’t know why because she’s one of our stronger players.”
Additionally, sophomore Alexis Beauregard also was impressive even without the stats. Kirby feels like she got done what was asked of her and stepped up.
This was Waynesburg’s [3-19, 0-11] 11th loss in 12 games. Of the Jackets 19 losses overall, 14 have come in straight sets. For improvement, Kirby said the team will practice service receiving and communication amongst themselves. The next match will be Thursday, Oct. 24 at the Rudy Marisa Fieldhouse, as they host Chatham to try and get their first conference win this year, and just their second since 2015.
Through 22 games last season, the Jackets were 4-18. Despite an almost identical record, and despite falling short of Kirby’s preseason goal of 15 wins, the second-year head coach feels that the program compared to last year has is more talented overall.
“A lot of times last year it was like, ‘is this even a volleyball team?’” Kirby said, “This year, I would say we’re a volleyball team and we’re playing better, just not to what was expected of us I think.”