Ava Seccuro staff writer
The girls varsity volleyball team lost their game to the Santa Monica Vikings 3-0 on Monday, Oct. 8. Despite the loss, the team had many offensive attempts and defensive rallies throughout each match during the seniors’ last home game.
Since it was senior night, energy was high and the team was enthusiastic.
The scores did not reflect the team’s morale during their losses in the first (5-25), second (3-25) and third (6-25) sets.
Throughout the match, the team’s chances of winning were quickly diminished when the Vikings scored point after point on hits toward the lines and the corners that the Norman defense could not return.
“Volleyball players have an issue where we get into our heads sometimes,” Stevanovich said. “We just need to stop thinking and just play the game how we know how to play it.”
Despite this year being her first year in the volleyball program, senior Temi Olonade knows the potential that the team possesses, the work they put in and how much they wanted to win.
“I’m not mad, I’m not disappointed. I’m just a little bummed out because we have the strength in practice, and we have the motivation in practice, but we just don’t show our full potential during games,” Olonade said. “I just wish…we [could have] at least made it past five points, but it’s okay that we didn’t because I know in our hearts that we wanted it.”
Not only does Olonade recognize the team’s collective needs to progress, but she also encourages the future or still existing members of the varsity team to take accountability upon making the program better.
“We are all very individual…our problem is staying motivated and not getting in our heads. We have the physical capability of winning, but it’s a very emotional, mental thing to keep playing, because after getting knocked down so many times, it gets tiring,” Olonade said. “Hopefully the juniors and sophomores that are still on the team will work on [bonding] with future teammates throughout the years.”
Another contributor to the loss, other than Santa Monica’s overall (16-5) and league (7-1) standings, was a lack of successful offensive plays.
“Losing is never fun so the outcome was terrible…it’s a little bit more fun to [have our senior night] when there’s a win in sight, but Santa Monica is ranked number two in division three, which is four divisions ahead of us,” coach Marla Weiss said. “They’re a solid, accomplished program. We are just rebuilding.”
Weiss needed some time to gather her team and to structure the program because this is her first year coaching the program since 2012.
“This past year, I started with the program in July. I didn’t have all the pieces together until August, so now that I have the one season, we’ll make a few more changes in terms of off-season work,” Weiss said. “What you do in the season is all about the off-season and we had no off-season last year, so this next year will hopefully look a lot different. The wins and losses won’t be very important yet, it’s really still about developing a foundation.”
The Normans’ next volleyball game will be at Culver City (8-1) on Oct. 10 at 3:15 p.m.