Volleyball team sets sight on victory
Published: Monday, October 22, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 22, 2012 18:10
The Roosevelt Lakers bounced back with a win over the Judson Eagles in four sets on Oct. 16. This was a crucial victory for the Lakers’ volleyball season.
The Tuesday night win over the Eagles kept the Lakers in third place in the conference, and the team set two school records. Freshman setter and right side hitter Aleesha Cleaver now holds the record for assists with 54, and freshman defensive specialist Arielle Nausieda is the record holder for digs with 31 in one match.
The taste of success for the Lakers came right on schedule.
Last Saturday, Oct. 13, the team fell short against Saint Francis (Ind.) in five sets (25-27, 25-16, 22-25, 30-28, 15-9). The Lakers were in a back-and-forth battle with the Cougars.
In the fifth and final set, the Lakers got behind early and could not overcome the deficit.
“I think we need a little more push in the end, a little more intensity to finish it up,” said sophomore middle blocker Vanessa Owusu.
Although the Lakers started the game out strong, they faltered in the end. The team seemed ready for the challenge of playing two matches in one day. In the early game, the Lakers dominated Indiana University Northwest in three straight sets as they cruised to victory.
However, Saint Francis was too much to handle.
“We made too many errors at, like, critical times,” said senior middle blocker Meredith Rounds.
Despite the Lakers’ loss, Coach Fitzgerald said she felt that the team can improve before the next game.
“We could have attacked better, we didn’t hit very well in the front row and our serving was a little weak,” said Coach Fitzgerald after the loss Saturday evening.
She said that if they learn from their mistakes and correct them in practice, they will be prepared for future opponents.
The Lakers are now 19-13 and are not giving up on the season.
“My goal is to be the first team at Roosevelt to make it to the championship and get first place,” said Owusu.
The Lakers only have ten games left in the season. Reaching Owusu’s goal may have to wait until next season.
But, Rounds’ aspiration can be accomplished this season.
Rounds said she wants “over 20 wins and [to] make it to a conference tournament.”
And the team realizes that is definitely achievable, especially with Coach Fitzgerald. The Lakers said she possesses incredible motivational skills and a burning passion for success.
“She will just hype you up, and we will be ready to go; she’s a good motivational speaker,” said Owusu.
Her enthusiasm seems to have an impact on players that carries over to the court.
“I love being a Laker and a part of the green and white community, and I wouldn’t change it for the world,” said Coach Fitzgerald.
The intensity and push the Lakers needed came alive against the Eagles. Coach Fitzgerald corrected the team’s mistakes and provided the spark the team needs to have a strong finish this season.
The Lakers kept that momentum as they opened up the CCSJ tournament in winning fashion defeating University of Michigan-Dearborn (25-19, 25-18, 25-19) and Aquinas (25-14, 26-24, 16-25, 25-17) on Oct. 19.
On Saturday October 20, the Lakers streak sadly ended. They were 0-2 on the day losing to Indiana University East (25-17, 25-22, 25-22) and in five competitive sets to Northwestern Ohio (18-25, 25-22, 25-20, 22-25, 15-13).
The Lakers face the Division leading Cougars of Saint Xavier University on Tuesday October 23. Root them to victory @RUTORCH