Volleyball team confident and focused for SBC tournament
With the regular season coming to an end over the weekend for the UALR volleyball team, the women are preparing for the 2013 Sun Belt Conference tournament that starts Nov. 21. The team last won the tournament in 2000.
The team believes it has the talent and the confidence to win the championship this season and head coach Van Compton knows that there is a real opportunity for this team to do just that.
“We have aspirations of trying to win this thing,” Compton said about the upcoming tournament.
The team had a very good regular season campaign with both the players and coaches alike enjoying the ride.
“It’s been the best by far, since I’ve been here,” defensive specialist Alison Wyatt said. “It’s the most fun that I’ve had.”
“I agree, because obviously you have fun when you win,” setter Marleen de Zoete added.
The two upperclassmen have played their last game at home, but hope to continue playing with their teammates for a few more games in the SBC tournament in Troy, Ala.
In order to accomplish everything the team wants to, Coach Compton knows that it will be important to remain focused and not fall into the doldrums of a long season that featured many away games.
“We’ve had a long season on the road; we’ve been on the road a whole lot,” she said. “We need to stay focused and really don’t lose our way with where we’re trying to get to.”
The challenge of staying focused has been one the team faced throughout the year, and for outside hitter Edina Begic, losing was in itself a reminder of that challenge.
For Begic personally, who had a record-breaking season in kills and was also named SBC player of the week multiple times, the team’s support helped with her own focus.
“You always have hard times, but with [my teammates] it was easier to go through the season,” Belgic said. She also said this team is really good and has a chance to do something that hasn’t been done in a long time at UALR.
For de Zoete, the perfect ending to her own UALR career and to the team’s season is evident.
“Obviously winning the Sun Belt and then getting a chance to prove ourselves in the NCAA Tournament, I think, would just be icing on the cake, the cherry on top of a good season,” she said.
The goal is the same for the entire team, according to Begic. “Winning is always the goal, that’s motivation,” she said.
“I feel like we’re all on the same page. We all want that ring.”