Manchester volleyball photo
After practicing in pods and not having much time to bond last year, the women’s volleyball team appreciates the opportunity to build chemistry among players this season.
Photo by MU Athletics

Women’s Volleyball Team Starts Season Strong With 8-7 Record

Ali Risner

The women’s volleyball team has had a strong start to their season with an 8-7 record so far. They have had some tough competition that has kept them on their toes, but they are more ready than ever to win more matches. The team has taken some tough wins against schools such as Olivet, Northwestern Ohio, Spalding, Wilmington and Trine.

Dakota Goetz, a junior from Lowell, Indiana, thinks the season is off to a fine start. “It’s actually a lot better than last year, so that’s really exciting for us,” she said. Indeed, this year has been a drastic change from last year’s team statistics. During the 2020-21 season the team went 1-22, so being 8-7 halfway through the season is a huge upgrade.

Last season the team was faced with many challenges, such as only being able to play conference teams, practicing with masks on, being split up in pods and not having a good team bond. “Last year our team chemistry was broken,” Goetz said.

Because the team was split into pods, getting to know each other was difficult. Goetz said that this caused cliques to form, which were noticeable on and off the court. “It was hard for the hitters to connect with the setters and no one really knew each other,” Goetz said.

Goetz spoke fondly of her teammates and coaching staff. This year, they were able to all practice together and thus build a better connection with one another. In fact, team chemistry has been a huge factor in the team’s success this season.

Still, even with the wins, there is always room for improvement. Goetz said she believed that the team could improve by, as she put it, “holding each other accountable during critical situations and holding yourself accountable too, but also being respectful and being positive.”

The team will be playing at Earlham on Saturday, Oct. 9.