After losing its first four matches, Pace University has turned things around, winning the last nine consecutive games.
Pace Coach Karrin Moore, who is in her second year at the Pleasantville-based school after three years as an assistant at Bentley, credits the players on the team for the turn around.
“It’s a new year,” Moore said. “Every time you get back in the gym, you just got to hope that everyone works as hard as you want them to and that they want it badly.”
This group of players does, according to Moore.
“It is a great group of girls who work really hard and they want to win,” Moore said. “They want to do what it takes, in practice, off the court and everything else to get there. I really lucked out in that they do all those things.”
Moore said the team members are great competitors.
“I like how hard they work,” Moore said. “The skill stuff we do at the beginning of practice. They know if they do that, then they can get into game play.”
Moore said now that she would love the team to keep up its level of play.
“There are a few teams out there that will give us a run for our money, especially if we are not playing at our best,” Moore said. “I would like to hopefully win our conference (Northeast-10) tournament this year. We made it to the finals last year, that was a great experience. Hopefully then we’ll go back to the NCAAs and go a little bit further than the first round, which we made last year.”
The Setters are in a position to achieve those things because of the talented corp of players on hand.
One of those players is junior libero and co-captain Elyse Rowland, who was named Northeast-10 Libero of the Week for Sept. 12-17. For the season, her 5.97 digs per set leads the Northeast-10 Conference and is sixth in the nation in Division II.
“She had a fantastic week that week,” Moore said. “In every match she had at least five digs, actually averaged 10 digs per set in one match. She goes hard all the time.”
Another key performer for Pace is junior middle blocker Tamilee Webb, who had a team high 13 kills in a 3-0 win against New York Tech Sept. 20. Webb is fourth in the conference with a .300 hitting percentage.
“Tami is short for a middle (5-foot-8) but she plays really big,” Moore said. “She is super athletic.”
Junior outside hitter Nora Rugova provides Pace with someone who is calm and doesn’t get rattled on the court easily, according to Moore.
Senior setter and co-captain Shea Hansen brings with her to the court a great knowledge of the game.
“She knows our players, she works hard to know the other team and makes good decisions on the court,” Moore said.
Freshman outside hitter Melanie Pavels plays a lot of beach volleyball, can read the game and has good court sense, Moore said.
Senior defensive specialist Ursula Vero gives Pace someone who is a solid defensive player. Vero is ninth in the conference in services aces per set at 0.53.
“Ursula has been a huge help this year,” Moore said. “She works hard on her game.”
The full story can be found here: http://pleasantville.patch.com/articles/womens-volleyball-pace-turns-it-around