“I expected us to do a little bit better, but I was very pleased with our team’s improvement,” said Jessica Kenny, the team’s top player. “I think our team is starting to gain a lot of consciousness over the other team’s tactics and I think that game showed it. I think we’re well on our way to success.”
Coach Bowman, in an e-mail interview, wrote, “We lost several of our players from last year due to graduation, so there are several new, underclassmen this year. I have seen many of the players show improvements since tryouts in August.”
“Definitely distracting,” said Kate Mendyskya, who ranks second on the team. “I like that song, so I was singing it while I was playing. I had to try to tune it out.”
Before the game, Coach Bowman gives the girls a pep talk, reminding them of certain pointers.
“She normally tells us the same things, but it’s still a helpful reminder. I wouldn’t remember them if I was told only once,” said Mendyskya.
Before the game, she takes a deep breath, focuses on the placements of her shots, and works on getting into the zone. During the day she drinks lots of water to stay hydrated.
Mendyskya focuses on both the physical as well as the mental aspects of the game. Being fit gives her endurance and being mentally strong helps keep distractions at bay. Her main concerns are working primarily on her foot movement, then everything else will fall into place.
Instead of worrying about her opponent’s game, Mendyskya works more improving her own. She said, “I just focus on hitting the ball more than her.”
Her match ended early because her opponent was not feeling very well, leaving the game on the second set, two all. Though slightly disappointed, Mendyskya understood. “You have to make sure that not only you are feeling well, but your opponent as well.”
The match is counted as a retire, a win for Leesville.