Volleyball looks to prevail over the competition this season

Josh Johnston

At a Kent State volleyball team’s practice, senior Vaiva Laniauskas wrote “Focus: Make Glen happy… Do your job,” on top of a white board.

Unfortunately, Kent State coach Glen Conley wasn’t happy at the end of practice that day.

“They failed in their goals,” Conley joked.

Conley had strong words for the team at a practice last week in the Gym Annex. Conley said the team failed to meet the high standards he set for the practice.

“We were playing a game to 15, and if anyone had a hitting error before we got to five, they lost.” he said. “That’s pretty simple. We had hitting errors.”

The team scrimmaged for about an hour before finally achieving Conley’s goal. As the scrimmage wore on, Conley appeared less happy.

“I don’t think they were unrealistic challenges, but we didn’t meet those challenges.” he said. “We want to set really high standards for ourselves. Today, we did that and didn’t meet them. Yesterday, we did that in the afternoon and we met them. It’s one of those things where it’s very up and down. “

Despite the off practice, both the team and Conley are optimistic about the upcoming season. Emblazoned on their warm up shirts is the team’s motto: Prevail.

“This is our team motto – prevail – finding a way against any team to prevail, ” Laniauskas said. “We have some work to do for sure, but we have a week to do it. We’re hard working. We’ll do it. “

Conley said he is optimistic about the season, but the team isn’t doing what they need to in order to prevail.

“We’re doing things to be competitive with teams. ” he said. “Even though we haven’t played a match yet, we would be letting people hang around with us and have a chance to beat us, and that’s not something we want to do. “

During practice, the women encouraged each other and celebrated every point during the scrimmage. Junior college transfers Tamy Leipelt and Brianne Wille and freshmen Maigan Larsen and Lauren Simon have mixed with the team well, Conley said.

“They’ve done really well, ” he said. “They’ve adjusted well, they’re all on board with what we’re doing. They’ve been great additions. “

With their first matches less than a week away and an always difficult Mid-American Conference schedule on the horizon, the women still have their work cut out for them. Conley said the team needs to work on consistency.

“We’ve got a lot of talent, power in the lineup,” he said. “We’re just not harnessing it and making plays.

“We just need to hit harder, we need to attack with a greater purpose, things like that. Right now we’re just going up hitting balls. “

The Flashes open regular season play Friday at the Colgate Classic in New York. MAC play begins Sept. 26 against Buffalo.

Contact sports reporter Josh Johnston at [email protected].