Volleyball loses to Southwest Christian

Issues performing in foreign environment


Lilia Gonzalez

Senior Elsa Bergland bumps the ball over the net during the team’s first game at the St. Michael-Albertville state tournament. Park lost 0-3 against Southwest Christian High School Oct. 15.

After losing its first tournament match of the season against Southwest Christian High School Oct. 15, senior Victoria Schmelzle said the differences in environment between typical matches and tournament matches proved to be an issue for the team.

“It is definitely an environment that, as a newly put together team, we haven’t gotten to play in. We knew it was going to be a challenge to take on,” Schmelzle said. “We have the confidence to still play at our best, but the environment is very loud and there is a lot more going on than when we are playing in a gym alone. It’s just going to require a lot more focus, and we know that, so we’re going to give it our best.”

According to head coach Sam Hanlon, going into the match, the team was expecting some difficulty.

“We expected that it was going to be a very tough match. Southwest Christian is very good,  so we were anticipating a hard game,” Hanlon said.

Having previously trained under the Southwest Christian’s coach, senior Sophie Chenvert said that helped temper the team’s expectations for the match, although they had some issues in reaching those expectations.

“We knew that Southwest Christian is a really good team. Their coach is an Olympian, who also used to coach me, so I knew the team she was developing is amazing,” Chenvert said. “We thought we could make it a good game, but our team struggled to keep up energy and get started, so it wasn’t as good as we expected it to be.”

Schmelzle said she similarly felt that the team didn’t play as well as it could, which could be attributed to energy levels.

“We could have played a lot better; our play wasn’t its best. They’re definitely a really good team, and they deserve credit for that, but that’s not to say that we couldn’t have played better,” Schmelzle said. “The energy was low, so hopefully we’re going to be able to take some time and get together as a team to come back more ready for our next game.”

According to Hanlon, although practice is kept relatively similar regardless of upcoming opponents, extra attention was put into controlling the ball for these tournament matches.

“We worked a lot on ball control (for this match), because we knew that we would be dealing with a lot of balls coming at us hard,” Hanlon said. “We try to keep practice pretty much the same as we always do, especially since we’re facing four other teams this weekend.”

The team will continue matches in the tournament 8 a.m. Oct. 16 at Saint Michael-Albertville High School.