Three weeks into the OUA season, the Brock Badgers women’s volleyball team has shown its youth, as expected with an inexperienced team. The team has opened its season through the first six games with a 1-5 record, winning only four of the 20 sets they have played. Their lone win came this past weekend in Lakehead as the Badgers won three sets to one.
“We got a fairly young team. They’re talented and we’re prepared to play,” said Badgers head coach Dale Ann Melnick. “At this stage we are just building our confidence and getting experience.”
With six first-year players and three sophomores, it is easy to recognize the inexperience of the Badgers, but at times they have really shown their ability to compete with the best of the best.
“The rookies are looking strong and can one day be the force of the OUA,” said Melnick. “They are starting to believe that they can compete. Our biggest problem this year has been believing we can actually do this.”
Opening the 2015 season with a cross-division match-up versus Ryerson, Melnick believed a win would set the stage for the team. However, the Rams came out as the stronger team, but as the game went on the Badgers got stronger – only dropping the final two sets 25-17. Fourth year player Maddie Brown showed her experience in this one, finishing the game with seven kills.
The team then travelled to play Windsor in a divisional match-up, where the Badgers continued to show their growth as they competed in every set. They dropped the game three sets to none, but this was a type of game that showed that there are brighter days ahead for the women’s team. Laura Condotta, a rookie, showed her skills in this game with nine kills and nine digs.
When the women returned home, life didn’t get any easier as they began their home schedule against nationally ranked McMaster. The team was down 10 in the first set, but continued to compete and made the score closer at the end. They dropped the game three sets to none, but even in the third set they made a comeback making the Marauders play much more tightly.
The women would win their first set of the season against Waterloo with a final score of 25-23, however, would go onto dropping the next three sets. Though the team dropped, the experience continued to grow for the young Badgers. Keisi Boroevich led the team with 15 kills and added 16 digs. Second year player Torri Carroll had an impressive seven block game.
When travelling to Lakehead this past week, the Badgers picked up their first win of the year. They dropped the first set, but would go onto win the next three 25-17, 25-21 and 25-10. Boroevich had another strong game with eight kills and 13 digs. The Badgers would drop the second game versus Lakehead three sets to none.
Earlier this year, Badgers Libero Karlinna O’Leary was invited to play for tryout for the Canadian National B team. O’Leary around the OUA is known to be one of the league’s best liberoes. She is known to put her body on the line to get the ball, as coach Melnick once explained. O’Leary is currently third in the league in digs with 67, as she is proving to be a defensive force.
The women will now travel to Toronto to take on the University of Toronto on November 14. It’ll be the Badgers lone game of the week as they looked to improve their 1-5 record. Toronto is currently undefeated in the OUA east division.