Alex Hendee says the Lady Rams are winning because they are working hard every day.
And they are winning a lot: the team started the season with 12 pre-season wins in a row before falling to St. Gregory’s University on Tuesday in their first conference game.
“We win as a team, we lose as a team,” said Hendee, the team’s assistant coach and a Wesleyan alumni. “In order to reach our goals – a conference championship and advancing to the national tournament – we emphasize working hard in the gym every day and focus on reaping the rewards associated with a team-earned ‘W’ in the win/loss column.”
She sees even this week’s loss as a positive.
“As a team, we felt great success in the preseason,” Hendee said. “Our match against St. Greg’s exposed areas of our game to focus and improve upon for the remainder of our season.”
The Lady Rams return to Wesleyan on Friday, when they play Wayland Baptist at 7 p.m. at the Sid W. Richardson Center. The team beat Wayland Baptist on Aug. 27.
The team will play Our Lady of the Lake University at 11 a.m. Saturday in Sid Richardson. Admission to both games is free.
“The girls have done a tremendous job this preseason on the road,” Hendee said. “However, we are excited to have the opportunity to defend our home court this weekend.”
This week’s lost dropped the team from third to eighth in the NAIA Division 1 rankings, according to the NAIA website.
Even so, the team continues to dominate the stats in the Sooner Athletic Conference. Chalon Anderson, Shelby Stinnett, Alanna Hayhurst, Sasha Robinson, Brianna Jaramillo, and Carli Owens are all in the top 20 in various conference rankings. In her first season on the team, Anderson was named the SAC’s Defender of the Week.
Anderson, a junior, said she was “extremely surprised about the nomination. I didn’t even realize that I had that many digs over the weekend. We are all looking forward to playing for the home crowd this Friday.”
Athletic Director Steve Trachier said Anderson and Stinnett, also a junior, are setting the example for the rest of the team. Stinnett is leading the team with 131 kills, 39 sets, and 30 service aces, according to the conference web site.
“Stinnett and Anderson’s recognition shows in their demeanor,” Trachier said. “They are doing it for their team and are something their peers look up to.”
Trachier said that he, too, is looking for the team to return home, in part because of all the improvements made to the gym.
“We refinished the floor, replaced the roof, and got new equipment for the volleyball team,” Trachier said. “I am hoping they qualify for nationals. They have already beat Wayland Baptist, who were the conference champions last year. The coaches have really done a remarkable job with the team this year.”