WVB looks for turnaround in 2020

WVB looks for turnaround in 2020

Dec. 18, 2019 – While the results in the win column haven’t been there for the Lethbridge College Kodiaks women’s volleyball team so far this season, head coach Anna Schwark sees many reasons for optimism entering the second half.

The team has stumbled out of the gate with just two wins in twelve outings, struggling in a top-heavy ACAC south division that has seen three teams – Briercrest, Red Deer and Ambrose – already reach the ten-win plateau. 

The Kodiaks will need a dramatic – and quick - turnaround to put themselves back in any playoff conversation, especially considering fourth place Medicine Hat College (6-6) is guaranteed one of the four postseason spots thanks to their hosting duties. 

With twelve games remaining, Schwark is optimistic the team will find its groove entering the new year.

“I think as a group we anticipated more wins by this time of the year,” said Schwark.

“We’ve seen some definite improvements throughout the first semester and the team is doing a great job of looking forward and keeping up a strong work ethic in practice. The group is probably gelling better than we have been the past few years so I’m excited to see what we can do in the second semester.” 

While the team has shown flashes of brilliance, consistency within games has been something Schwark is trying to preach.

“We’ve noticed we can battle in sets one to three but fail to play through the fourth sets we have been finding ourselves in,” said Schwark. “I don’t believe this is a physical endurance issue, it’s definitely a mental barrier. So that’s our biggest focus in semester two, to just play through the entire match until the final whistle is blown.”

Speaking with Schwark – Thoughts from the Head Coach 

On players that have taken it to a new level…

“Mack Lewicki has really stepped up the last couple weeks of the semester. For an undersized left side, she has been a go-to for us and we were able to really rely on her leadership and hustle the last few weeks of the fall semester.”

“Sarah Hazen has also been a pleasant surprise in the Libero role. Her serve/receive was her strong suite in the beginning of the year and we were really working to improve her defence. She absolutely worked hard to improve her defensive skills and she has earned herself a lot of court time because of that.”

On a few players to keep an eye on in the second half….

“We are excited to see the return of LeeAnne Arnott next semester. She has come back wrong after her extensive knee surgery and she’s been cleared to return to practice. She’s a naturally athletic and strong player, and I know she can be an asset when she feels confident in her abilities. Right now, it’s just important to make sure we gradually increase her game-play opportunities in practice so that she feels game ready come January.” 

Tell us your favourite moment from the first half…

“My favourite memory this year is the day our girls came into practice and let our coaching staff know that they would no longer let their days affect our practices. They developed a pre-practice/game routine of visualization and locking away their problems in their “black box” so that all they had to focus on after that was volleyball and I really love those moments where the girls take the initiative to change things up and want to be better.”

Leaders at the semester break

Kills | Mack Lewicki (95), Kylie Morrison (57), Morgan Bullerwell (46)

Assists | Jamie Brown (206)

Digs | Mack Lewicki (135), Jamie Brown (74), Sarah Hazen (73)

Blocks | Rae Whitehead (24), Claire Armstrong (17), Maile Funa (16)

Dates to circle on the calendar

Jan 10 & 11 | at Red Deer – The Kodiaks return to action against their rivals from RDC.  

Feb. 7 | vs Medicine Hat – The Highway 3 rivalry continues, as the Kodiaks will look to avenge a pair of first half losses to the Rattlers.  

Feb. 22 | vs Briercrest – Our girls close out the season against one of the top teams in the country.