Tornados Volleyball Team Works on Consistency, Aggressiveness

By Daniel Warn / dan@yelmonline.com
Posted 9/28/21

With a league loss to Peninsula 0-3 on Thursday, Sept. 23 at home and another 0-3 loss to Federal Way on Friday, Sept. 24, the Tornados volleyball team is currently 2-5 overall and 0-2 in league …

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Tornados Volleyball Team Works on Consistency, Aggressiveness

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With a league loss to Peninsula 0-3 on Thursday, Sept. 23 at home and another 0-3 loss to Federal Way on Friday, Sept. 24, the Tornados volleyball team is currently 2-5 overall and 0-2 in league play.

Coach Molly O’Hagen said the team is taking a little while to get on its feet, but she feels the girls are ready for the challenge.

“In the games that we have been successful in, we did a really great job of staying steady,” O’Hagen said. “We talk about being steady a lot. So not being affected by any outside factor, the environment, coming in and competing in every single point. By focusing internally on ourselves and our game, that’s when we’re really successful.”

She said it’s a matter of consistency that faces her athletes at the moment.

“In every game, in every set, in every competition that we’re competing (in), we’re really showing some great things — staying focused on defense, staying nice and aggressive and communicating well,” O’Hagen said. “And when we start to stray away from those concepts is when we get into trouble. So we’re focusing, as a group, on really maintaining steadiness through those three concepts the entirety of every set, every match.”

During Thursday’s match against Peninsula, O’Hagen said that kind of steady gameplay was lacking.

“It wasn’t the best competitive performance from Yelm, so I was a little disappointed,” she said. “I believe that we’ve got some balls dropping that were unexpected, and a lack of communication. I think that’s what caused such a point difference between us and them.”

O’Hagen said Peninsula is a great team with a bunch of offensive weapons, but that shouldn’t have stopped the Tornados from playing better than they did. Yet, there is hope, she said.

“Honestly, they’re showing some real moments of greatness, which is incredibly encouraging for me as their coach,” O’Hagen said. “So it’s hard for me to not hold them to that level each and every match that they play.”

She said Peninsula has the strongest offense the Tornados have gone up against so far.

“They’ve got a skilled and talented setter, and a skilled and talented libero,” O’Hagen said. “So they’ve got some strength in every position, which makes them a pretty challenging opponent.”

O’Hagen said Molly Corak, the Tornados’ senior libero, played well during the matchup.

“She’s always steady for us in the servicing lanes, and she’s a really disciplined, defensive player. She reads the game really well.”

Senior Jaelynn Carrier was also a standout player, O’Hagen said.

“She’s a steady all-the-way-around player, a sixth-rotation player for us,” she said. “She is able to attack the ball really well. She reads the court really well. She’s really steady for us passing and she’s aggressive on defense.”

Overall, O’Hagen said the Tornados could be a bit more aggressive.

“So it’s really taking care of our offense, our defense, staying aggressive on good serves,” she said. “We’ve really been stressing aggressive serves this season to try to get the other team out of system. So when we’re able to do that, we find success.”

Yet in spite of the uphill climb, O’Hagen’s hopes are high.

“My hopes are for by the end of this year, for every opponent that we face to know that whenever they played Yelm, they were facing a significant competitive team,” she said. “I want us to just be getting better every single match we play, and increasing our level of competitiveness.”

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