By Havanna Hagans
The 2007 volleyball season has come to a screeching halt. After being eliminated from the Ohio Valley Conference Championships eligibility list, the Colonels pushed ahead to finish out their season strong, while the lone senior made a lasting impression on the NCAA charts.During a five-game home stretch in McBrayer Arena, the Colonels managed to pull together as a team and grow toward their goal of becoming mentally stronger, talking more on the court when they are behind and following through until the last point of the match.
Eastern also snagged its first 3-0 win since Sept. 1.
On senior night, Coach Lori Duncan said, the team was practicing staying aggressive, being relaxed and being confident. They were also trying to “learn the skill of getting after (their) opponent from the very start.”
“I know that we haven’t been able to do that throughout the course of the year consistently,” Duncan said. “And that’s why we’re being very inconsistent.”
Eastern collected two out of three wins during the home-court advantage, said farewell on senior night and counted down to the last match of the season.
The Colonels traveled to Alabama to close out the year.
Eastern geared up against Samford in Birmingham, Ala., and Jacksonville State in Jacksonville, Ala.
However, the Colonels were stripped of the win in three.
The marks for the Colonels were considerably low, but the scoreboard shows Eastern was not going down easy.
“We have to start building for our future,” Duncan said. “We have to start taking these opportunities that we have right now and building on them to be better, so that next year we have a good foundation to work from.”
The Colonels had three players in double figures.
Leah Nelson tallied 10 kills for Eastern, while sophomore Abbey Blank bumped 13 and Brittany Nobilio dug 18.
Despite trailing with 27 more digs to go to take over the third position, Nobilio used each of the final matches as stepping stones to the final destination.
As Nobilio scored her ninth dig against Jacksonville State Saturday, she became number three on the NCAA charts for the most digs in a career.
Nobilio had 11 digs against the Gamecocks, who won the match in three.
“Adversity is the only path to growth,” Duncan said. “Without adversity you never make it to the next level. There’s no question that this year has brought more than its fair share of adversity, but see that as a path to growth and not ‘aw poor us.”
The Colonels finished their season 5-25 and 4-16 in the OVC, which had some fans skeptical about product.
“How can this team not have a better record? How can this team not be in a position to do something in the Conference?” Duncan said. “It’s because.some matches we brought it and some matches we didn’t. Part of that is experience. Part of that is youth, but if that’s it, then let’s use every experience we have to be the team next year that’s hard to beat because of the experience we had this year.