Volleyball starts hot

Matt Gad – Sports Writer

For the first time since 2009, Southern volleyball is undefeated. That season they started 13-0 and, as of September 11, they are behind a 6-2 mark.

“I think it’s a really different atmosphere this year,” senior Alexandra Nimz said. “We have a saying this year that no team in the conference is going to outwork us and, you know, we really just wanna work hard.”

Sept. 5, Southern defeated Nyack College, of Nyack, New York, three sets to one to improve to 4-0 on the year. Alyssa Gage and Gabriela Vazquez led the team in points scored, with 10 and 12, respectively. The team totaled 47 assists, 61 digs and 64 points.

“I think the team’s feeling really positive and more confident in themselves and in each other. They’ve been working really hard and trying to stay focused at one opponent at a time,” head coach Lisa Barbaro said. “They’re taking their training and their preparation seriously and I’m really proud of what they’ve been doing.”

In the match, the Owls lost their first set 25-20 but they flipped that score and won set two, 25-20, set three 25-19 and set four 25-14 to capture the victory. As of Sept. 9, the Nyack College Warriors are in an 0-8 hole.

Southern opened their season winning matches against Dominican College Sept. 1 (3-0), the University of Bridgeport (3-0) and Georgian Court (3-0) Sept. 3. After the Nyack match, the Owls defeated Bloomfield College in Waterbury Sept. 9. They also play Molloy that afternoon and LIU Post and Post University Sept. 10, all in Waterbury.

Sept. 12 the Owls will take on Queens College in Flushing, New York and Le Moyne in Syracuse, New York on the 16th. Their next home match is set for Sept. 19 with Pace University, an NE-10 conference opponent.

Barbaro said they are just trying to treat each week like a new week and have the team reset “regardless of the result.” So far, that result has been win after win, as the Owls try their best to echo the program’s strong 2009 start. That year the team finished 26-10 and appeared in the conference tournament, defeating the University of New Haven 3-2 before falling to UMass-Lowell, a former conference member, three sets to one. They are now in Division I.

After the match, Barbaro said: “Tonight was the first challenge of starting off this week. I think Nyack really challenged us tonight and [they] played really hard. We came out a little bit flat but we were able to refocus and come back around and finish so I’m really proud of that effort.”

Nimz, who has been a staple for the Owls since seeing major action her sophomore year, was first on her team in assists and digs in 2015. Last season she was part of 105 sets, recording 27 kills, 693 assists, 185 digs and 24 blocks.

“I think last year we had a very good start but we hit a midpoint and we couldn’t get back up from there,” Nimz said. “We definitely have had a stronger start to the season then we did last year but as long as we take it a week at a time we’re not gonna hit that midpoint and we’re gonna hopefully reach our end goal.”

Photo Credit: Southernctowls.com

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