Setting it up

Sports Volleyball

Volleyball team prepares for rebound year

By Elaine Gerou
Editor-in-Chief

Top Caption:Last season, the Schoolcraft Ocelots enthusiastically celebrated a point, jumping and stomping the court with a chant, and this season, they are hoping to see more of this.
Top Caption:Last season, the Schoolcraft Ocelots enthusiastically celebrated a point, jumping and stomping the court with a chant, and this season, they are hoping to see more of this.

Last year Schoolcraft’s Women Volleyball team experienced some growing pains on the court, going only 2-8, 8-16 overall in the Michigan Community College Athletic Association (MCCAA) Eastern conference. Second year head coach Shannon Pummill is using her experiences gained from last season to help her team focus on the basics and rebound this season in the win column.

“We started from basics, and we built up,” commented Pummill at a recent practice. “We’re really just trying to build all around players in each of them, so that there are no weaknesses on our court.”

The team is off to a decent start indicated by their scrimmage play and current record of 6-4 according to the MCCAA website.

Pummill shared that last year the team had difficulty finishing games.

“Last year, we just didn’t have the motivation to go far and finish games,” co-captain Victoria Vellucci said. “This year, we have a lot of freshmen, and they are really excited to play and push themselves, so I think this year is going to be super exciting. We are going to definitely do a lot better than last year.”

Despite having a young team with only five returning players, everyone on the team thinks the newcomers will pull their weight.

The volleyball team is working to improve on finishing games to achieve more wins this season.
The volleyball team is working to improve on finishing games to achieve more wins this season.

“Last year, we had players who were really great at what they did. This year, we have players who are great at every aspect. We have more depth this year,” said Pummill. “We are working harder every day, doing different scenarios and different drills to teach them to finish and have that killer instinct to put balls away and get it done.”

During practices, Pummill keeps players moving and makes sure they get many reps in all skill sets: passing, setting and hitting. She plans to work on effectively executing the basics to be successful on the court.

Sophomore co-captain Emily Thompson said that in addition to working harder than the team did last year, they also have more talent and mental dedication.

With the fresh skills and commitment, the team hopes it will pave the way to reach their goals of competing in the conference and taking away games from teams they are not expected to beat.

“I want to win, but my goal is to get better every single day and make sure my girls know that it what’s important,” Pummill said.

Along with Pummill, all of the girls want to win as well, hopping to make a run for some hardware.

Freshman co-captain Gabrielle Macihe said on behalf of the team, “We are all hoping to go to nationals in Arizona.”

Hard-working, goal-driven coaches and teammates can be a potent combination, especially when they have vengeance to redeem themselves from last year. Season 2015 is bringing a new team with a better attitude to the table, and they are sure to make an impression in the standings.

The Ocelots open conference play on Sept. 8, at Macomb Community College at 7 p.m.

For the complete schedule, scores and roster, go to mccaa.org.