Team strives for improvement

The women’s volleyball team at California Baptist University has faced tough competition this season because of a crossover competition consisting of schools from both the Great Northwest Athletic and PacWest conferences.

Branden Higa, head coach of the women’s volleyball team, said this season has its own characteristics and challenges.

“Every season is different,” Higa said. “The PacWest and GNAC crossover puts us up against four teams that are in the top-30 of the nation. Our conference schedule is the toughest one possible.”

Becky Moodie, junior global community science major and libero player for the squad, said she feels the team improved during their weekend of play in Hawaii.

“We are a lot more competitive and the intensity is high right now. We know conference is still up for grabs, which motivates us to fight even more,” Moodie said.

The PacWest and GNAC crossover has proven to be challenging, but the Lancers used the experience to prepare them for the rest of the season. With all the competition ahead of them, the team is hard at work at practice each day.

“We have a new set of players this year,” Higa said. “This season has been a lot about trying to blend our players together and find the rhythm and consistency that is important to being successful.”

The Lancers currently hold an overall 12-7 record, with a 8-3 record in conference games. The team is preparing for NCAA Division II West Regionals and NCAA Division II Championships.

“It is always in the back of our head,” Moodie said. “We want to do the best we possibly can to make the playoffs. We take it one match at a time, but our ultimate goal is making it into the playoffs.”

Higa said the team has stayed ready to handle things, and they are focused not only on championships, but on improving as a team and individual players.

“They are motivated and want big things for this team and this program. We tell our team that we want to be 1 percent better every day,” Higa said. “We want to focus on steady improvement throughout the season.”

The performance in the remaining games will determine the team’s standing going into NCAA Division II playoffs.

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