While many varsity teams have faltered this year, several CSU club teams have enjoyed quality seasons, and the CSU club volleyball team is no exception.
The Rams achieved a new level of success this season, winning two tournaments and placing third in another, all while attaining a top 10 national ranking.
Coach Lee Merrit said he was extremely pleased with the regular season his club put together, giving credit to way the players worked as a team.
“We’ve done the best we have done in the six seasons I have been here,” the coach said. “The number one reason for our success was our talent. We had really well rounded players. This group meshed and it showed on the court.”
Senior Leslie Moen agreed with Merrit, adding that former teams hadn’t been this close knit.
“In the past it has been slightly different,” the club president said. “It was pretty easy for us to gel as a team this season and that is a big reason for our success.”
Though CSU took a step forward during the regular season, they took what many on the team say was a step back when it mattered most.
Going into the national club volleyball tournament last week in Dallas, the Rams were ranked among the top 10 club teams in the country, but a combination of unforeseen circumstances and upsets prevented CSU from finishing in the top 20.
Emily Frost, a middle blocker, said end of the season left a bad taste in her mouth.
“It was very disappointing and an embarrassment,” the freshman said. “It was hard looking at the season we had and then we just didn’t click.”
Frost also said that mental errors played a big role in why the Rams faltered, explaining that the errors are the main thing holding the team back from where they want to be.
“The main thing for us is getting past mental errors,” she said. “If we make a mistake, it is critical to get past it and move on. The skill is there, it is all mental.”
Even though he may be down at the moment, Merrit is already looking forward to next season and is thinking of way to make the club even better. He said that new and tougher competition is a key to the future of the team.
“We need to start traveling more,” he said. “Our goal is to travel to see better teams. Then when nationals come around, we will have seen the best in the country already.”
“We had good competition this season, but not top 10 competition,” she said. “It is much tougher when you are put in situations against those teams, and you still have to pull out a win.”
Even though she is nearing the end of her college volleyball career, Moen still thinks the best is ahead for the Rams.
“We have experienced our own power and enjoyed it,” she said. “In the future we will continue that tradition and experience even more success.”
Sports reporter Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at email@example.com.