While most students are adjusting to life back at Mills, the volleyball team has already begun training for this upcoming winter season.
With ten new players added to this year’s squad, head coach Loke Davis is working hard to bridge the wide level of experience, ranging from fresh skill levels to a decade long worth of training.
“Regardless of the experience that each person brings to the team,” Davis said, “I think it is that togetherness that will transcend.”
Despite the range in volleyball backgrounds, this year’s fourteen volleyball players are striving for a successful outcome through their commitment and love for the game. So far, the team has already won 3-2 in their first match against neighboring community college Laney College on Aug. 29.
Although the season started off strong with a victory, Davis still plans on working on the team’s serve receive formations, which is the five team members’ positioning during their opponents’ serve. Practicing this formation will help players easily transition from defense to offense. Davis is providing additional training opportunities, depending on skill level, both inside and outside the court for players to build their techniques.
Not only is first year Nicole Aniguid motivated in putting in her full effort on the court, but she is also dedicated in improving her technical skills for the matches. Aniguid’s libero position is unique in Volleyball because that defensive role does not allow her to go for the ball above the net’s length. Instead, the libero only serves or receives passes from the opponent.
“I want to focus on my consistency in passing balls, especially since I’m the libero,” Anuguid said. “The pressure is on me if I don’t pass ‘settable’ balls.”
After she refines her passes and digs, which is a diving hit for the ball before it touches the ground, Anuguid hopes that her improvements will prove her defensive ability to play in the front row as a hitter. By switching from libero to a net-side hitter, Anuguid will be able to attack more passes and serves from her opponents. By the end of the season, she wants to come out as a more confident and aggressive player on the court.
Sophomore Miranda Crothers has stepped up in her role as the team’s co-captain by helping her teammates bond together on and off the court.
“We have a great group of players who are very spirited and supportive of one another,” Crothers said. “I’m very excited to continue to see us grow and become even stronger together.”
Crothers was voted co-captain for her leadership skills. She recently organized a team bonding session to Jack London Square that helped create better relationships and communication amongst the players.
This season, the team will have eighteen matches against other Division III schools. After a victorious start, the squad is very optimistic about continuing the winning stride.
“Their team goal is to have a cohesive team,” Davis said. “I think that is our primary commitment and goal for each other.”