Volleyball fights through streaky record

Cindy Liu, Staff Writer

Halfway through its season, varsity volleyball has been holding onto a streaky record of wins and losses. With their current league record at 1-2, the Lady Brahmas hope their new strategies off the court will pay off in a performance better than last year’s 1-7 league record.

Their first league win was against South Hills on Sept. 27, with a score of 3-2, after losing their previous two matches against Ayala and Glendora, both 3-1. Diamond Bar lost to Ayala in four sets with 25-20, 22-25, 20-25 and 21-25. In their match against South Hills, the Lady Brahmas knocked them off in five sets with scores of 25-20, 15-25, 25-19, 12-25 and 15-9.

Even though the team started out with two losses, it has high hopes of winning its next match. According to head coach Katie Swetnam, juniors Hannah Wangsa and Ana Figueroa have stood out with their performance as middles in the games.

“We have been putting a lot of focus on blocking, so it’s really been throwing off other teams in their offensive systems because they aren’t able to hit around our block,” Swetnam said. “They’re working really hard shutting down other teams with their defense.”

Swetnam has been implementing new mental training techniques such as meditation, rhythmic breathing, and visualization. The techniques were also added to the team’s pre-game routines to mentally prepare them.

“One day, we beat a really awesome team, and the next day, we lose to a team that isn’t as good as the team we just beat,” Swetnam said. “So mentally, I think our game needs to improve to make sure we play consistently.”

The team also changed its rotation from last year. Previously, the girls had a 6-2 rotation, a formation where the setters are always positioned in the back row with three hitters in front. This year, they switched to a 5-1 rotation where the setter sets in both the front and back rows, but with only two hitters when the setter  is in the front row.

“We had a really strong preseason so I was hoping that would bleed into League,” Swetnam said. “Our first league match was against Glendora, who had won League for the past three years so I knew it was going to be a tough match. But overall, we performed well and we’re going to get them next time.”

Varsity volleyball’s next league game will be on Oct. 6 against Glendora.