Volleyball has won nine straight matches

Sam L. Jaime, Reporter

The Bakersfield College women’s volleyball team has continued to win games. The team owns a 16-8 record and has won its last nine consecutive matches. Sophomore Mackenzie Hernandez sees a deeper meaning than the numbers indicate.

“Being on a winning streak is great and I’m so proud of my team, but the word ‘streak’ doesn’t mean anything to me and my team because it’s all a learning and growing process. If we played as good as we are playing now, but teams were beating us, everyone would think we sucked. So, what I am super proud of my team for isn’t just because we’re winning, but seeing everyone being a selfless teammate and giving their all while embracing the struggle of learning,” said Hernandez.

With four games remaining on the Renegades’ regular season schedule, the team is determined to stay in the moment.

“I think the most important thing to do mentally for the upcoming games is to know and understand that winning the past nine games has nothing to do with the games ahead of us. What we have done up to this point no longer matters. We simply have to continue to prepare and respect our opponents by giving them our best effort each and every game,” said sophomore Hannah Pope.

Respect has played a role throughout the season to this point. “Before every match we all say we have to respect our competitors. They are here to play volleyball, and they love the sport, too. They are here for the same reasons as us. We have a coach that says ‘respect them by playing at your best, respect them by making the score 25-0. Make them respect you because you played so well and you beat them so bad,’” Hernandez said. In this way, they show their opponents their best at every single point, and she believes it’s the reason they haven’t gotten complacent.

The team has refused to be satisfied with their level of play. “There’s always areas to improve, we improve in every aspect of the game. I think that, at this point, we just need to continue being sponges and take in all of the new mental coaching that is being given to us by coach Carl [Ferreira]. I would say maybe we could clean up our serve receive passing a bit and continue to focus on scoring more points,” said Pope.

The team’s pursuit of perfection has resulted in considerable growth. “I think people on my team are more relentless now and mindful. I have always been relentless in not letting a ball drop to the ground unless I’m giving my all to get the ball up and being aware that if I let the ball drop they get a point, and that’s just not going to happen unless I throw my body on the ground and try my hardest. In the beginning, we didn’t have that from every player, but as the season has gone on, I see everyone doing that. We used to make so many hitting errors on our team but we don’t anymore because people have become more mindful and understand that if they make a mistake by hitting the ball out, they’re helping the other team. Having people understand that now has made a huge difference in how we play. We have become a completely different team since our preseason tournaments,” said Hernandez.

While the excitement of the team’s nine-game win streak is not lost on its players, the main goal remains a deep playoff run.

“In all honestly, this streak wouldn’t mean much at all to me if we don’t do what we need to in the playoffs,” said Pope. Looking toward the postseason, Hernandez said, “We just have to keep doing what we’re doing, honestly. We are nowhere near perfect, but what we’re doing is working. We have a system and all we have to do to keep moving forward and trust the system and be confident that we will be prepared for every match. Every match is completely up to us. The only thing we can control is the ball going over the net, and how well we play on our side. I have complete 100 percent faith in my coaching staff and my sisters on my team that we won’t be done with this season anytime soon.”

The Renegades have the opportunity to keep their win streak alive Nov. 2, in the Gil Bishop Sports Center, where they will host West LA at 6 p.m. In each of their two previous meetings this season, the Renegades shutout West LA, outscoring them 150-88 over six sets.