Veteran-loaded program working to find consistency
Unlike their male counterparts, the Capilano Blues Women’s Volleyball Team is probably one of the university’s most experienced programs – something team captain Sarah Hughes believes is bound to work in their favour. “It’s awesome that we have four fifth years, and many third years this season,” she said. “It’s nice to have that experience, because we have a lot of first years – they can see how the older players and veterans kind of work, and get the hang of things.”
As of Tuesday, Nov. 29, the Blues were 7-4, good for third in the Pacific Western Athletic Association (PACWEST).
Hughes primarily attributes her team’s up and down play to growing pains and a lack of focus, rather than any specific defense or offense-related deficiency. “This is the first half of the season and I guess anything can really happen,” she said.
“I guess in the weekends that we lost, we might not have just been prepared enough. Maybe it’s the fact that we came off a win against CBC [Columbia Bible College] and got too hyped up about playing VIU [Vancouver Island University].”
While the Blues have tapered off after their four-game winning streak which saw them go from 1-2 to 5-2 in two weekends, Hughes remains unfazed and pleased with what she’s seen so far from her group. “We’ve looked at the game over the weekend. We know what we did wrong and we’re fixing things this week in practice, which is good, she said. “We’re going down the right track.”
For Hughes, the rigorous schedule is just another part of the game and something the Blues must prepare for regardless. “It’s a good thing for two reasons. If you win the first game on the Friday, then you have that momentum and that will to want to win again,” said Hughes. “Even if you lose that Friday, you still get that fight back because you don’t want to lose again.”
Unlike soccer or basketball, the PACWEST volleyball season begins in early October around Thanksgiving, and runs all the way through November, before reconvening in January and concluding in early February. This means that the first half of the Blues’ volleyball season usually coincides with midterms, term papers and final exams, a rigorous program Hughes has learned to manage after five years at Capilano University. “It’s good that there’s older girls on the team with the younger girls because we’ve been through it now for several years,” said Hughes. “We kind of get what to do and can help the rookies out. But it can certainly add some stress.”
Though Hughes and her fellow veterans entered the season with a mindset to lead, the response she has seen from her younger teammates has been beyond encouraging. “All the first years, all the rookies – they’ve impressed me so much,” she said. “From the first day we met them and saw them play, to right now, they’ve improved and have been working their butts off every single day.”
The Blues will break for the holidays and reconvene in Jan. 6 and 7 with a home-and-away series against the CBC Bearcats.
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