The Renegade Rip

BC volleyball takes a much needed victory

Sam L. Jaime, Reporter

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While conference play has not begun for the Bakersfield College volleyball team, their victory against Moorpark on Sept. 30, may have meant something much bigger. The victory was their first against a ranked opponent after suffering eight-straight losses, and a bit of vindication for the hard work and practices.

It also may have represented the emergence of sophomores’ Hannah Pope and Mackenzie Hernandez into veteran leadership roles on the team.

As returning members of the culture coach Ferreira has created, they both admitted things have started to click. “I think you always have to have more mature people on the court who understand the program to help the freshmen,” said Hernandez. “Especially before this last week or two, our internal leadership was lacking from sophomores, and I think personally, holding the freshmen more accountable, I think it’s helped a lot,” said Pope.

Hernandez and Pope also credit the inclusion of statistics per practice, provided by the coaching staff, as part of the team’s maturation. These statistics show errors, hitting percentages, and efficiency among other things, and were designed to enable players to see their mistakes in a visual manner. Hernandez said, “It’s the tiny things we do that keep our minds in check.”

Looking to the future, with conference play not long from now, Hernandez and Pope prepare for as many aspects as possible. “Personally, I prefer the more stern approach, I think it’s always good to be excited, but I like to be focused, and be more ‘no messing around,’” said Pope.

Neither appear to be messing around, holding themselves to very high standards.

“Honestly, I tell myself, ‘What’s the point of making a mistake?’” said Hernandez. “When I make a hitting error, I’m like really down on myself, because there’s no point, just get the ball over, and make them make mistakes.” Similarly, Pope said, “Because I’m passing, I’m the first contact; if I screw it up, I let my entire team down. I want to give my team an opportunity to score, I have to give them at least a chance.”

The veteran facilitators may have found success in approaching the game with a tough as nails, “do or die” attitude, but have found a presence amongst their teammates in their actions. “We lead by example, we like to say, ‘Hannah never lets the ball drop’, she’s always on the ground, bruises everywhere; we lead by example,” said Hernandez.

While only time will tell if the examples set, and culture created can translate into a deep postseason run, both Hernandez and Pope feel the “relentless pursuit of a competitive edge” is a dimension of this team that will continue to be cultivated. Hernandez said, “As the freshmen continue to get more comfortable and we all focus on one goal, it’ll be exciting to see what we can do.”

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BC volleyball takes a much needed victory