Sometimes a game can be won even if by the end of the game, the scoreboard is 11-25.
“We don’t play to win; we play to learn,” coach Kristi Mathisen said.
“We weren’t meant to win this, as these scrimmages are to set up our varsity (team).”
The JV Volleyball girls were down 6-18 after having lost the first set 8-25 to the Forest Lake Christian Falcons.
Mathisen was proud of them, though, and optimistic for the rest of the season.
That’s not saying that these JV girls are less competitive or motivated than their varsity counterparts.
Mathisen gave her girls, including sophomore Chloé Collinwood, a competitive goal nonetheless.
“We weren’t expecting to win, so we made our goal 10 points,” she said.
The Cavs beat their goal by one and, according to Mathisen, toppled last year’s first game’s score by six points.
“Varsity is like AP Calculus,” Mathisen said, “and we are in seventh-grade algebra.
“We are trying to learn the algorithms of volleyball, and I think that we are improving a lot.”
Many of the girls are freshmen and still getting used to these new “algorithms.”
“In middle school, the focus is more to just get the ball over the net,” freshman Emme Bogetich said.
“But now the goal is to get three-touch plays, which makes it a bit more confusing.”
Three-touch plays – plays that include a bump, set and spike or hit – are the keystone of volleyball.
In addition to three-touch plays, Mathisen believes they need to work on floor technique.
“The only big thing we can do is improve comfort on the floor in game situations,” Mathisen said. “There is only so much we can create in practice.”
For some of the new players, just that first step on the court was uncomfortable enough.
“I was pretty nervous at first,” Bogetich said. “Then I got on the court, and I tried my best. I got a good free ball over, and I made some good saves.”
According to Mathisen, the Cavs efficiently adapted to this new situation.
“Players went in and handed where they usually play in practice,” Mathisen said.
“We remained calm and kept a positive attitude. It’s only up from here.”
“It was a great learning game,” Collinwood said. “We (had) all improved by the second half.”
Sophomore Emily Hayes agreed.
“The first game is all about improving and learning how to work together,” Hayes said.
“We improved even just between the first and second games, and I’m looking forward to seeing the team grow as the year progresses.”
On Wednesday, Sept. 7, the Cavs face the Cornerstone Christian Cougars at 6 p.m. at home.
—By Chardonnay Needler