NEW BRITAIN - The Goodwin Tech girls volleyball team has gotten off to another strong start to begin another season, winning seven of its first eight matches in relatively easy fashion.
Despite the start, the Gladiators believe their play is still not where it needs to be as the schedule starts gets more challenging.
“We have to be more consistent on the pass to the center and our servers setting up our attackers,” Goodwin Tech head coach Paul Soucy said.
In their match against Vinal Tech Wednesday, the Gladiators played down to the level of their opponent, something that has been an issue this season. Vinal Tech was 2-5 coming in and Goodwin Tech should have easily won in straight sets.
That wasn’t the case.
After winning the first two sets, it was the third set when Goodwin Tech lost focus and Vinal Tech took advantage.
Losing the third set can be attributed to a lack of effort but there is something that the Gladiators have noticed when they drop sets to lesser opponents.
“We need to work on communication,” Leina Rivera said.
At times, Goodwin Tech wasn’t talking with each other on the floor and just going through the motion leading to easy opportunities for Vinal Tech to attack them and spot the ball where they wanted it.
When at their best, the Gladiators are setting up the offense in the middle of the court and believe that doing so gives them the best opportunity to hit spots that challenge opponents. That style of play was seen in all three sets won in the match.
“Making sure that we got the ball to the center gave us an edge,” Goodwin Tech’s Tanija Russell said.
While lack of focus and communication is a concern going forward, being able to persevere, bounce back from lost sets and pull out wins serves as an indicator that Goodwin Tech doesn’t back down.
Against Cheney Tech, the Gladiators showed the potential they have on the court. Maximizing that potential, regardless of opponent, is another story.
For the season outlook, it will all come down to what Goodwin Tech team shows up when it matters most.
“We gotta be more consistent and be better on the floor,” Soucy said. “We got to serve if we’re going to go out and beat those teams later in the season and in tournament time. Serving is the biggest thing for us if we serve well we play well.”
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @OrencoleDan