By Matthew Dutton
With eighteen total wins and just four losses in the season, the Flagler College Saints volleyball team hopes to finish the season as strong as the last.
Coach Matt Affolder said he is very satisfied with the performance the girls have shown this season.
“I feel very happy. We try to play tough competitions and the team has played exceptionally based on the scheduling,” Affolder said.
The Saints were on the road for multiple weeks and picked up ten wins to away teams with some being conference match ups.
Kennedy Muff, one of the team captains, believes that the team’s continued success is thanks to multiple factors this season.
“I think we have so much more confidence this year. Even in games where we drop the first set, we know that we can come back and win it all,” Muff said.
Last season, the Saints finished as Peach Belt Conference regular season champs with a record of sixteen wins and four losses.
The introduction of a new season meant new challenges and higher standards for the team as they hope to continue the work they did last year.
Four freshmen and one transfer were added to the roster and all bring something different to the team.
Jordan Berglin, freshman, has been setting records in his first year as she achieved the most kills by a freshman in a match and is currently ninth in the conference in kills.
Berglin said the progression of the season has put the team in a really good place.
“We started off the season with some pretty tough non-conference matches, but it has been feeling really good to get into the groove of things and start clicking as a team,” Berglin said.
The team holds numerous individual awards that have contributed to the team’s success, but the players say that nothing compares to team culture and a strong game atmosphere.
Cameron Fenner, sophomore, said that having a strong team chemistry is essential to performance on the court.
“Team culture is important because it’s what bonds the team together,” Fenner said. “When we are all on the same page it increases our performance level and strengthens the bond of the team.”
This year, COVID-19 restrictions were lifted which meant regular capacity would be reinstated for fans at home matches.
“There is no other feeling like stepping out onto the floor from a competition,” Berglin said. “We love competing together and the atmosphere bring us all together even closer.”
Coach Matt and the team are now looking to finish the season strong with a Peach Belt Conference title and a chance at competing in the NCAA tournament.
“We are narrow minded in that we are trying to get better today and we’re in a neat phase of the season right now,” Affolder said. “We know we’ve done some great things so far, but our team’s got some really high goals.”
Flagler’s next home match will be Friday, Nov. 5 at 6 p.m.