Despite setbacks, volleyball team stays strong

Despite setbacks, volleyball team stays strong

Brown earns Big Sky praise while Schumacher breaks school record

Laney Brown and Allie Schumacher have both been recognized for their skill on the volleyball court.

Brown is a senior setter and was awarded player of the week for leading the team to their first two road wins of the season against North Arizona University and Southern Utah.

She plays an average of 13.25 assists, 2.88 digs, nine kills and two blocks per game.

According to coach Lisa Westlake, set- ting the ball is more complex than having technical skills and tempo sets. “It’s about decision making, leading, knowing who’s hot, adjusting your sets according to what your hitters need that day, and delivering the ball,” said Westlake.

A setter’s job is to make sure hitters are successful and this is where Brown has shown the most growth recently, according to Westlake. “Brown has grasped this very important concept,” said Westlake.

Earlier in the season Brown was injured and did not play for weeks at a time. She said it was only until two or three weeks ago that she started feeling like she was at 100 percent.

“We’ve turned our mindset to dream crushers. It’s when the off-side in practice try and beat the starters. Going into these last few matches that’s been our mentality,” said Brown.

According to Brown, the team has been playing to crush dreams by being aggressive, having nothing to lose and going out and doing it.

“Some teams step on the court and think, “It’s [just] Eastern Washington,” and that’s to our advantage if we continue to play like we have been,” said Brown.

“Our whole mentality was everyone’s eyes are on us, so lets give them something to look at,” said Brown.

Schumacher broke the school record for all-time single match kills with 35 kills.

“Coming into the season, I had re- ally high expectations of myself and big goals. I wanted to be freshman player of the year for Big Sky Conference and I wanted to break as many records as I could. Breaking the [school] record was a big accomplishment for me and something I was really going after,” said Schumacher.

Schumacher is talented, mentally tough, competitive, and always looking for ways to improve herself, according to Westlake.

“What I love about her is that that’s literally just the beginning of how she sees herself performing,” said Westlake.

As a freshman Schumacher said vocally she is not a leader on the team, but she hopes to inspire with the way she plays.

The volleyball team had a long losing streak, and Schumacher said, “We all love the game so much and we all love winning and we want that so bad. So there’s a moments of frustration when we just want everything to work well together and when it doesn’t hap- pen when we’re working so hard.”

The team never doubted their abilities, according to Schumacher.

Brown said, “There was never a point where we lost faith in who we were as a team.”

“The amount of growth that’s occurred through this team this season has been amazing. It’s just been such a privilege to be on a team with these girls,” said Brown.