The Good, the Bad and the Ugly for Women’s Volleyball

The Black Hawk College Women’s Volleyball team has had their ups and downs this season as they are working towards earning a trip to the National Junior College Volleyball Tournament in November.

Head Coach Mary Davis has been expecting to win more games this season, but says the team is learning from some tough losses experienced early in the season and the more recent losses at the end of September. The team has coaches who really want to guide the girls toward a strong run at the National Junior College Volleyball Tournament at the end of the season.

Some of the players are disappointed because they feel the team could have done better earlier in the season in order to secure more wins. As the players try to reach the national tournament, they still have a big work load in front of them. With just under a month left in the regular season, the Braves find themselves in a tight spot. After winning three games in a row early in September, the Braves lost three away games in a row, but still have a winning record of 16-10 on the season.

The girls suffered setbacks at Harper College and at home against Carl Sandburg College in September, but bounced back with big wins over district rivals Black Hawk College East and at Carl Sandburg College to begin the month of October. The athletes on this team have a lot of talent and even more heart, and the results are starting to show what the team expectations are at this point of the season.

Coach Davis attributes the success of the winning streak to shuffling the lineup around. They have had some players who made all-tournament teams this season and Coach Davis says the team is really close to playing at a very competitive level.

“The growth of team and their mental toughness is improving,” she said. “I want to be the team that everyone is chasing at the end of the season.”

Davis went on to say the strength of the team has really been the defense, which has been anchored by sophomore libero Rachel Wilson.

“We have been digging the snot out of teams,” Davis proclaimed, crediting the teams’ success to sophomore Alax Battin, freshman Brianna Bonner, and freshman Claire Halverson. “Bri has had some great results on the outside,” explained Coach Davis.

Brianna Bonner has been a great outside hitter for the team and she is able to cover the area of the court that the opposition does not see. The offense has been quarterbacked by freshman Katie Fringer, who is effective at running the court.

One of the biggest foes the Braves have is a friendly rivalry against Black Hawk College East, and Coach Davis states that “we don’t want to lose to them and they don’t want to lose to us.” Black Hawk East holds a victory over the Braves as they won the first meeting between the two teams this season, but our BHC Braves got their revenge with a win here at our gym.

Freshman Sydeny Strawser has been a very active outside hitter this season, and says the team is starting to click.

“Coach Davis says we are like a baby.” Strawser said.

“Sydeny is great at seeing the block and hitting the open spot on the court,” said Coach Davis. Strawser is intense, so much so that she says her proudest moment this season was “hitting a girl from the opposing team in the face with a spike because of my intensity level.” Another big contributor this season has been sophomore left back, outside hitter, Elle May. May is excellent at ball placement and communication. May says she has a leadership role on the team.

“More people look up to sophomores, because we are leaders and it’s our last year to show ourselves.”

May says her goal for the team is to sweep opponents in three sets. The season is really starting to heat up for Black Hawk College and the intensity level is running high for the Braves as they head toward the end of the season, hoping to represent their district at the National Volleyball Tournament in November.