‘Never say die’ attitude to win gold again
After losing two consecutive games to the Red Deer Queens on Jan. 23 and 24, the Cougars women’s volleyball team is working to make sure it never happens again.
The losses came as a surprise to the Cougars, who before the weekend’s defeats were tied for first with Red Deer. Now holding second place in the division as of press time, the Cougars have lost a total of three matches in the regular season, all to Red Deer.
With only four matches left before the provincial finals, coach Sandra Lamb wants the team to work on keeping confident.
“Pretty much everything is the mental part with this group,” Lamb said, adding that after a successful beginning to the first match, Red Deer came back with momentum that continued through the end of the second game. Now she is going to work with the team on ball control and, most importantly, defence.
“We are young in our minds and we can play big at times but we need to make sure that we try to keep our focus on the task at hand and try to stick to game plays and our game plans and they never quite completed that on this weekend.”
Kirbi Hymas, one of few members remaining from the team that claimed gold at last year’s provincials, said now is the time for hard work and pursuit on the ball.
“The plan is to play to win, not to play not to lose,” she said.
She added that, at this point, the team spends more time together than they do with their families and they’ve developed a close relationship. Assistant coach Chelsea Hobbs said that although their close relationship helps them through tough times, it sometimes prevents the members from saying the tough things to each other.
“The skills are there for sure, it is just being able to persevere so sticking it out with the team is the biggest thing,” Hobbs said, adding that they are going to adopt a “never say die” attitude and keep that mentality for the upcoming weeks.
Sara van Goudoever, another player returning from last season, said what the Cougars need now is tougher competition.
“We were pretty successful our first semester and then the weekend just prior to this we lost both games and I think it was a real eye-opener because we were winning and then we lost.” she said.
“I think that we need to work hard in practices to not lose to those kind of teams because we weren’t really prepared for it. The season has gone by way too fast, we only have a month left but we’ve come together pretty good.”