Faith Ford setting up her final volley
Matt Gad – Special to the Southern News
Senior Faith Ford has a lot to play for in her final season of women’s volleyball for the Owls.
The positive vibe of productivity has been resonating well among all athletes on the team. And Ford is confident and impressed with how the season is progressing for Southern volleyball thus far.
“The season has been going very well,” Ford said. “Over the past few years our team hasn’t been doing very well, but the preseason energy coming in this time was really great when it usually takes more time to get going.”
Ford, the only senior on the team, is convinced this is the year the volleyball program can turn things around and end the season with a winning record.
“The atmosphere is just better within our team. Everything is more positive and I feel like this year is going to just work out really well,” said Ford.
Not only that, but Nicole Hauser, Ford’s teammate, said that Ford’s presence on the court is very impactful and adds to the solid dynamic of the team.
“She motivates everyone to be at their best all the time, and has a good attitude about the season,” said Hauser. “She is just trying to improve our team’s chemistry and culture.”
Lisa Barbaro, head volleyball coach, also agreed with the statement of Ford being a team leader. As Barbaro has noted Ford’s leadership role this season.
“She is highly determined to have a great senior season and she’s just very coachable,” Barbaro said. “She is such a force both offensively and defensively.”
Along with Ford’s final year, there have been several new faces this year for Southern’s volleyball team. There is a fresh new assistant coaching staff along with the addition of six new freshman players.
“We added three new assistants this year,” said Barbaro. “Each of them brings in a wealth of knowledge and experience, and we feel like we are getting a lot more accomplished.”
Those three new assistants are Drew Schaeffer, Eddie Castano and Taylor Carlson.
Among them, Schaeffer previously spent six years coaching high school and club teams. While Carlson is a recent Southern Connecticut graduate who ranks third all-time in the assists category in program history.
Team chemistry has been a huge factor for the team, as the Owls have improved from prior seasons under the new assistant coaching staff.
“The atmosphere is just better within our team. Everything is more positive and I feel like this year is going to just work out really well,” said Ford, the senior out of New Britain.
According to Barbaro, the goal is to make it back to the Northeast-10 Tournament, but she also noted that it would not happen without full accountability and strength around the team.
“I look forward to watching them develop throughout the season,” Barbaro said. “I do believe the confidence and effort this year will lead us towards our goals.”
Since the start of the season, the team’s chemistry has been clicking and Southern volleyball has been rolling, as the team holds a 6-5 winning record compared to last year where the team won two games through the first 15 games of the season.
The Owls are putting past seasons behind them and are looking to compete in conference tournament play for the first time in five years.
Catch Ford and the rest of the volleyball team in action in their next game set for Sept. 23 against the College of Saint Rose.
Photo Credit: SCSU Athletic Communications