Mesa Volleyballs Last Stand

Devin Bradshaw, Sports Editor

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A five-match win streak last season turned an inconsistent team into a legitimate threat.  The obvious potential in the Mesa women’s volleyball team was producing fruit.

The Olympians finished 16-9. They made the Southern California Regional Playoffs. Even though they didn’t get past the first round, this group gained valuable experience and raised the bar of expectations.

Which is why what’s happening now is such a head-scratcher for the team and fans alike. This was supposed to be a breakout year for the Mesa women’s volleyball team; instead the Olympians have been struggling mightily. After a 3-0 start, eight losses in 11 games has them searching for answers. Disappointment and frustration has highlighted the season thus far and a return to the playoffs is in deep jeopardy if they cannot figure out a way to turn things around. A chance deep run in the regionals will go out the window if they don’t stop the slide.

To that end the disappointment and frustration is transforming into resolve.

“We got off to a strong start and then dropped a few matches that were lost because they beat themselves,” Coach Kim Lester said “But I still think we have the potential to be a top 8 team in Southern California.”

Hope is not all lost though and there is still time to make a change, “We just need to continue to be disciplined and hold each other accountable.” Their turnaround has to start with them winning the key games that they are supposed to win. Getting upset by teams such as Saddleback College and getting blown out, going 0-8 vs. teams in the top 25 just will not cut it anymore, they have to come together as a team and make a run that will propel them into the playoffs. They have had a daunting schedule thus far and it will not get any easier as they have a matchup with Grossmont, who are 12-1 and have won four in a row. This is their first of two matches with Grossmont and the second game depending on how Mesa does in the coming weeks, could have major implications on their playoff and regional hopes. That game will be held Oct. 26, at Grossmont College and they might need all the help they can get. If the Mesa Olympians want any shot at regionals their run has to start now. They have the veteran leadership, the experience, the drive and the passion; we already know they have the skill from their run last year. Let’s see if they can put it all together to finish the season strong.


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