Jared Leingang, Online Reporter
Hard work, passion and heart.
Head coach Greg Finnel says the Pierce College volleyball team embodies those qualities and says it’s evident when they take the court.
The Raiders have an overall record of seven wins and 14 losses and are 1-0 in league play. The goal for the season is to finish with a top four record in the Northwest Athletic Conference, Finnel said. The pre-season record doesn’t count toward the team’s NWAC seeding.
This year, the volleyball team is comprised of 10 freshman and three sophomores. One of the obstacles Finnel says the team needs to overcome is mental strength. The pre-season schedule incorporates tougher teams to help improve the team’s mental fortitude.
“It was a tough schedule; we finished 6-14,” Finnel said. “We were in every match, but we just didn’t have that mental toughness to put us over the edge. We learned a lot about the game and about ourselves.”
All of the players have progressed over time, Finnel said, but the two players that stand out the most are Brooke Peterson and Miranda Jeter for their consistent high level performances.
Practices run a little over two hours, which include watching
game films and working on drills.
As student athletes, the standard rule is to maintain at least a 2.5 GPA to play but Finnel pushes for at least a 3.0. The coaching staff does grade checks every two weeks and freshman athletes are required to do a minimum of three hours of study hall every week. It’s not required for sophomores but it’s recommended.
One of the coaching philosophies Finnel employs is creating a lasting culture and having the players buy into a family-like culture.
“If you can create that family culture and if you do it right, these girls will be friends for a lifetime and they’ll grow and compete better because of that,” Finnel said.
Finnel learned from his previous coaching experiences that the closer the team, the better they’ll perform. He realizes the importance of having a great team dynamic rather than a team that’s led by one or two individuals.
The Raiders volleyball team plays every Monday and Friday with one home game per week at the Fort Steilacoom Health Education Center.
“If you come out you will have a good time; it’s fun. I don’t think I have coached a team that has been as fun to watch as these girls,” Finnel said. “They’re captivating on the court. They’re so fun to watch. Come join a family.”
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost
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