By Gabe Rivera
When a team is on a losing streak, team cohesion and chemistry can be lost. The Lumberjacks volleyball squad is not one of those teams.
Despite losing their eighth straight game to the Sonoma State Seawolves at Lumberjack Arena on Friday night 3-1, team morale remained high. Senior setter Jessi Lammers led the team with 28 assists and feels the team has remained focused during these rough times.
“We really depend on looking inward toward each other,” Lammers said. “We ignore the crowd and ignore the other side of the net and just look to the girls that play next to you.”
The first set of the match was the most competitive, with each team going on big runs. The Jacks held the lead throughout but lost control of the set when the Seawolves tied it up at 24 and proceeded to score four of the next five points.
HSU exhibited their true potential in the second set by going on four, five, and seven point runs, dominating the set and winning 25-13. Jacks senior middle blocker Janelle Ayala showed why she should be on the court as much as possible by making several smart plays in the team’s only set won.
The Jacks starting lineup is not yet set in stone, but assistant coach Greg Railsback believes they are close to finding the right mix for team success.
“Our last two games, we’ve been playing with more mental intensity and energy,” Railsback said. “We’ve been starting to play with a little more belief.”
The road is a long one but the team and coaches have faith that they can still turn this season around. The team must cut down on costly mistakes and mental blunders. Jacks head coach Kelly Wood wants the team to have stronger finishes in their later sets.
“We have this tendency to just drop off and play really inconsistently in the fourth set,” Wood said. “We had 14 errors between hitting and serving. We’re not gonna beat anybody making 14 errors.”
The Jacks look to get back in the win column against San Francisco State Saturday, Sep. 23. First serve is at 7 p.m. at Lumberjack Arena. HSU students, faculty, and staff get in free with campus ID.