Trojan women’s volleyball team may be school’s best-kept secret
The UALR women’s volleyball team started their conference schedule on Sept. 27 at Mobile, Ala. where the team beat South Alabama 3-1. The UALR Trojans have been blazing through games ever since. The team won 7 straight conference games and 13 overall before falling at home to Western Kentucky. The girls have traveled from Alabama to Louisiana, and have won every single conference road game so far this season.
“I think as a team we have proven to be pretty tough, because we have been on the road for seven straight weeks, which is extremely tiring,” said Coach Van Compton. During this extensive amount of time on the road, the volleyball team has played against schools like Georgia State, UT Arlington and Texas State.
The final game of the win streak was against Texas State on Oct. 13, which the Trojans won 3-2. The game Oct. 18 against Western Kentucky at the Jack Stephens Center ended the streak. Before the match, coach Compton knew the team would be challenged.
“This upcoming match is going to be an exciting one to watch because both teams are very good,” said Compton.
The girls had an amazing streak going and coach Compton thinks that more people should know what kind of team they are.
“I think we have a product we need to be marketing,” said Compton. The team is composed of impressive players like junior Edina Begic who received Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year in 2012 and is nationally ranked second in points per set and third in kills per set.
“I would just be remiss not to invite people out to see someone of that caliber of a player,” said coach Van Compton “We are a very talented team and can do some great things, and I think it’s really good volleyball; people don’t know unless they give it a chance and come see it.”
The team puts in extensive preparation to perform their best. “We practice hard and work hard in the weight room,” junior Marlene de Zoete said. The team attributes its success to the long hours spent in the weight room. “Staying in shape is definitely the most important contributing factor,” de Zoete pointed out “because by the fifth set most teams are like ‘OMG I’m dying’ because it is so tiring.”
The team members get their motivation from one another. “Good positive energy throughout the whole game really helps us finish the game out strong,” said Begic.
“We really do build off each other’s energy,” said de Zoete. The team also notes the importance of team chemistry in general. “It is not just on the court, it matters off the court too,” junior Adisa Hodzic said.
Even with the recent loss, the team still has a hot streak going, winning 13 of their last 14 matches. “I think we have proven to be a team that has the ability to come back in difficult situations, that is definitely one of our strengths,” Compton said. The team is excited and working hard. “These next two matches will really solidify where we are,” Compton said before the loss to Western Kentucky.
The volleyball team will play their next match against Troy on Oct. 25 at the Jack Stephens Center.