Capital University, last year's 13th ranked team in Division III, beat the Oberlin volleyball team in three straight games on Wednesday, 15-9, 15-7, 15-4.
Capital is a typical opponent of the Oberlin volleyball team this season: tough. It is as though the team has enlisted in a season-long bootcamp. "We want wins that are hard fought," Coach Suzanne Garland said.
The team got its first taste of tough opponents at a tournament last Saturday. They played Notre Dame College of Ohio, Damion College, and Mt. Vernon College, dropping all four matches.
There was a lot of confusion about rotation such as where to go and what to do. With only four returning players and ten new ones, one of the team's problems is that they do not yet mesh together.
The team may not have to wait too long to do this, however. On Wednesday against Capital the Yeowomen showed promise. "Our brain farts were fewer and further between," said Garland. A "brain fart," as defined by Garland, is when a player gets confused and disoriented.
The team lost the first game 15-9, then subsequently it dropped the other two, with scores of 15-7 and 15-4 respectively.
Whatever alertness and intensity the team felt it was missing on Saturday, they seemed to capture, at least temporarily, in Wednesday's match. Communication between players on the court increased.
Oberlin was within two points of Capital for most of the games, according to co-captain junior Katie Ruth. "It was fun to be almost there[winning]," she said.
The Oberlin defense was sharp. This entails good blocking and positioning, which Garland foresees as one of the team's overall strengths this season.
At certain moments in the match, it was hard to tell who was winning and who was losing. There were rallies where the ball stayed airborne for long stretches of time, being bounced from one side to the other. Capital wasn't letting the ball touch their side of the court, and neither was Oberlin.
"What this team needs to learn how to do is to say, 'Nine points is good, but 15 is better," Ruth said. "It is the extra step that counts in the end."
Perhaps the team will show some glimpses of that this weekend as the Yeowomen host an eight team tournament this weekend in Phillips Gym. Student assistant B.J. Johnson said, "By the middle of the season at least, we'll be kicking ass."
Copyright © 1997, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 126, Number 1, September 5, 1997
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