The women’s volleyball team ended their season on Nov. 16, losing to Sierra College in three sets, 25-23, 25-18 and 25-8.
Head coach Minet Gunther said the team tried its best despite not having a great season.
“We were 8-16,” Gunther said. “You don’t go into a season wanting to do that.”
Gunther said overall the team did good considering some of the unexpected circumstances that got in the way this season.
“We had a talented team, but some of our players had to play out of position,” Gunther said.
Some players agreed that mental obstacles got in their way, which translated on the court.
“Overall, I think this season was a struggle,” said sophomore setter Emma Franco. “I liked my team, but we had a lot of personal conflicts. Physically we were strong, but mentally it was like a roller coaster.”
The team had its fun times during preseason, playing in the Modesto Junior College tournament. The Hawks won in three sets against Los Medanos College, but lost in five sets to Chaffey College.
“We had a pretty good preseason,” Barghout said. “We felt carefree and pumped at trying to get the W.”
However, the volleyball team would go 1-16 against the Big 8. The lone victory came against Diablo Valley College in the second to last game of the season, snapping the team’s 14 game losing streak.
“We were in that conference and it’s like a dogfight,” said Gunther. “It is tough no matter what because you’re playing against strong opponents.”
Although they didn’t make it to the playoffs, some players did receive recognition.
Sophomore middle hitter Domanique Coronado, who lead the Big 8 in blocks per game, received All-Conference second team honors, according to the CRC Athletics website. Sophomore libero Natasha Malana made All-Conference honorable mention, according to the CRC Athletics website.
Gunther said the teams’ biggest strength was hitting and blocking due to the height advantage of some of the players.
“Having taller players really helped this season,” said freshmen outside hitter Yara Barghout.
With every loss, the team’s momentum began to decrease and mental pressure began to set in.
“Our biggest mental challenge was that we got inside our heads and picked ourselves up too late in the season,” Barghout said.
Gunther said despite having losing streaks the team handled themselves well.
“It’s not easy to lose more than you win,” Gunther said.
Despite their defeats many players said the team worked well as a unit.
“We did pretty good as a team, we built patience and a happy medium,” Malana said.
For next season, Gunther said they have five returning players and will be looking to recruit more.
“I’m going to recruit from high schools and club volleyball to find quality players,” Gunther said.