Manchester volleyball photo
After a disappointing season last year, the MU volleyball team is focused on improving and have already had a “much better start,” according to Head Coach Ivan Matos.
Photo provided by MU Athletics

Volleyball Team Seeks to Improve from Last Year’s Season Despite Early Losses

Sam France

The Spartan volleyball team has already had eight matches this season, including three in Cincinnati. They were off to a fantastic start earlier this year having a record of 3-2, which was the best start since 2012. Head Coach Ivan Matos said that this year was a much better start than last year due to COVID, which had serious implications for the success of the team.

This year Matos says the players have a better understanding of what he calls “of the job they need to perform in order to be successful.” Since then, however, they have lost four and only won once, all of those from the Mount St. Joseph invitational during the weekend, giving them a record of 4-5. There they defeated Wilmington with set scores of 22-25, 25-17, 25-23, and 25-15. So far, the women are 3-2 at home, 0-2 away, and 1-2 in neutral matches.

The team is made up of students from all years, with one senior who is leading with experience. Matos said that they have a strong returning senior, junior and sophomore combined class. “They are very focused and driven to improve and to have a much better season than last year,” Matos said. Also, they have recruited what he calls a “strong and athletic freshmen class.” In fact, three First Years are playing for Varsity.

Catherine Ondrla says that the team’s greatest strength is their communication. They are always very talkative on the court. Is it difficult to manage her time with sports, school and friends? She said, “Yes, ” she said, “but my teammates are helpful with homework or any issue that I have.”

Further, she said that they all have an incredible bond. “We are like Jam and Jelly,” she said.

Matos would have to agree, stating that the chemistry between the players is great. The returners, he said, “have done an amazing job of cultivating.”

To prep for the rest of the season the team looks to stay in shape in all categories while managing the impact, so they can avoid injuries. To make sure the tiny mistakes don’t happen again, they have more player meetings and film sessions. The team continues to put in effort and time to greatly represent the university and community.