Viking volleyball looks to sweep the SAA

Evan Sale, Campus Carrier Sports Editor

Berry Volleyball is having a standout season. The Vikings have a record of 17-3, are currently on a 12-game winning streak and have a record of 10-0 in the conference. They are a force in the DIII rankings, receiving votes to be ranked in the top 25 in the nation. After the win at home vs Emory, who is ranked 4th, the Vikings are looking to crack the top 25. The team started off the season with a losing record, losing two games on the road in Colorado. After that, they won four before ultimately losing on the road to Johns Hopkins. After the loss to JHU, the team did not look back, winning the next 12 games and only losing a total of three sets. 

“This year’s team has bought into the Berry volleyball program since day one, junior Cassi Culhan said. “We have been constantly giving 110 percent on and off the court.”

The team’s constant effort has landed them a spot as one of the top contenders for NCAA DIII Volleyball and one of the top contenders of the SAA, with a record of 10-0 in the conference. The Vikings will take on rivals Birmingham Southern and Millsaps on October 14th. Both of these are crucial conference games for Berry.

“This year, the SAA has been unpredictable.” Culhan said. “Every team is a contender for us. BSC was the first to take a set from us and Millsaps is a very relentless team. If we stick to our game plan and trust the system we will get to where we want to be.”

Players spend time with each other by doing everything together, working on bonding and really embracing what it means to be a team. The team makes an effort to work as a cohesive unit. 

“This past spring, we spent a ton of time working on our relationships with ourselves and each other, and through this we have really grown together as a team,” junior Hannah Billiard said. “We genuinely enjoy playing with each other, and we have a ton of fun both on and off the court.”

“In order for the team to close out a successful season they must stay mentally focused.” Billiard said 

“Our coaches have really emphasized our mental game.” Billiard said. “Every practice and game we individually come up with a “confidence focus:” something specific we can concentrate on that will build our mental game. And with this added focus, our team has really begun to play with a lot of confidence and fearlessness.” 

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