The Sr. Mens Rams Volleyball — who returned to 4A senior competition after a season-long hiatus — ran up against an experienced Lindsay Thurber Raiders team and ultimately fell in three sets.
Despite the loss Rams head coach Mike Sonnenberg said there were lessons in the game.
“It was a pretty experienced team on the other side. We saw some things we really haven’t seen in competition with some hot balls, but it is a good lesson. We have to play teams like that to get better,” he said.
It looked like the Raiders were going to run away with the match, but the Rams did show mental toughness by making it close in the second set — after going down 10 points early.
“It was a slow start, but we came back. Our mental toughness kicked in and we started to move the ball a lot better. The guys start to get more into it after being flat at the start. When you are flat, it is tough to compete against a team that is very fundamentally sound on the other side,” Sonnenberg said.
Sonnenberg said the Rams are starting to show signs of a team that is primed to continue to grow.
“We started getting balls within the system and that made a difference,” he said. “We are getting better from where we started. After one month, there has been enormous growth and I’m sure if that trend continues we will end up growing.”
Sonnenberg said they are a young team, which will be huge going into next year.
“We have a lot of veterans, but this is the first year for a lot of guys at the senior level. We didn’t have a team in the senior league last year, so this is a new experience for everyone. We are trying to figure that out,” he said.
Sonnenberg said having an even lineup allows him to try different combinations throughout the game
“We have guys that play a little more and other guys who are working really hard to get more reps in the lineup. Right now, it is more of a team game. We have been spreading it around trying to find combinations that work. We are working hard,” he said.
Going forward, passing efficiency and putting pressure on the other team will be key for the Rams.
“Right now, we don’t put enough pressure so we are focusing on consistency and keeping the ball in play,” he said. We look really nice when we have good tempo with our offence and we look organized when the first pass is gone.
“We got to focus on that first contact a handling a hot ball with a good pass. Everything falls into place from there.”