The University of Indianapolis volleyball team is on a winning streak of six matches according to UIndy Athletics. The team went 3-0 against Glenvale State and Lock Haven as of Sept. 16. The team also was ranked sixth in the Great Lakes Valley Conference preseason poll on Aug. 22 according to UIndy Athletics.
Head Women’s Volleyball Coach Jason Reed said that the team’s win streak is the result of the extra work the team has put in during summer conditioning. Reed also said that the team is also constantly practicing when nobody else is watching.
“We have had the bulk of our group here right after the Fourth of July, putting in the extra time over the summer with our strength conditioning people organizing open gyms,” Reed said. “The reason for a strong start has everything to do with the girls on the team that have put in the time outside when nobody else is watching them play. They are in there and they’re getting better. So hats off to them, for organizing and putting in the work when they didn’t need to be.”
According to outside rotational hitter Sophia Parlanti, the team is in a better position than it was last season and is having an exciting season. Parlanti said that the team’s biggest strength is the relationships the players have with each other.
“Our biggest strength is that we know each other well, we uplift each other and when we make mistakes we do not take anything to heart. We support each other so [players] do not take anything to their heart,” Parlanti said.
Reed said the team is doing a better job working as a group this season. While the team was strong, they improved with responding to stressful situations during games according to Reed.
“This year’s group has done a much better job of responding to stress,” Reed said. “That [was] a conversation that we had in the spring where we tried to appropriately apply stressful situations in practice and kind of hold their feet to the fire a little bit more, that way by the time we see that stressful situation in a match, it’s not novel. It is something that we are used to.”
According to Reed, the easiest matches are behind the team and now they get to look forward to more challenging matches. Reed said that this is something that competitive teams get excited about.
“We get to knock heads against one of the best conferences in the country,” Reed said. “There is no weekend we look at it, especially in our GLVC schedule, and think ‘Oh, we’re going to win that one.’ And that’s exciting because if you’re truly competitive … if there is no risk, there’s no reward. If you are just going [against a team that] you are going to blow the doors off, it can be fun, but you are not learning much about yourself. You are not growing because you are not getting stretched.”
Parlanti said that being a junior comes with the responsibility of mentoring the underclassmen. According to Parlanti, she is getting to know the underclassmen and helping their skills develop.
“It’s my second year at UIndy and my second year playing, but I have started to get to know the underclassmen and especially the freshmen and feel as though I have to be a leader for them and help them grow,” Parlanti said.