“Got it.” echoes through the spacious gym as players from the volleyball team practiced nearby. Watching the women practice as a unified team makes it easy to see why they are so cohesive.
An unspoken ability of the players seems to be in play as one team member sets up and another steps in for a follow through on a play.
The practice functions like a well-orchestrated dance, which appears to be effortless and smooth without even a hint of mistrust. The women know their team member is right there to help as they step in to hit, spike or bump.
Besides the fact that the team is passionate about this current season, an overall feeling of rallying is present from many of the women.
Coach Doug Carlson’s winning attitude and get-it-done persistence remain the driving force behind the team, ever present and motivating for each individual player.
Player Natimia Doss said she appreciates the coach’s tough-love attitude.
“Coach is great. He can be tough, but he pushes you to be better, and makes sure we get it done.”
Doss plays outside hitter and is in her second year playing for the Raiders volleyball team.
For many of the players it’s a lifestyle of training and practice that has been with them for years, some even from birth.
Richelle Carel has been a part of volleyball long before she could even walk.
“My mom played and would take me with her and set me in my car seat during practice sometimes,” Carel said.
She also helped out as watergirl as a child.
Assistant coach Cami Medlock has been another improvement among the team. Having an assistant to help correct some of the smaller concerns for the team has been a vast improvement.
Dori Smith said with fewer players it’s like they’re a closer team.
“We keep each other going and (there are) other players you look up to,” she said.
Last year’s stats didn’t always show the team’s collective effort, but this year it’s paying off.
Defensive specialist Alavrra Boring shared, “we built confidence individually and then came together as a team; bringing the team together as a whole.”
The volleyball team crushed the competition with a score of 3-0 in a home game on Sept. 21, proving that this year the team is working hard and scoring big on the court.
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