By Vern Hee
The Hornets seem to be caught in one of those Ground Hog Day time loops.
For Beatty, it’s beginning to look a lot like last year.
This year, the Hornets are the fifth seed in the playoffs in Division IV, the same spot they were in last year. This year they played Lund in the quarterfinals — last year they played Lund, too.
They lost to Lund 3-0 last year and Sullivan hopes that’s where the coincidences stop. Head Coach Steve Sullivan hopes to take his team farther in the playoffs this time. The team has made the playoffs for the last three years.
The Hornets played in their first playoff game last night at Lund with the results coming in after deadline. Lund was 4-3 in league play going into last night.
In their last league game against Pahranagat Valley last week, Beatty lost to the Panthers in 3 sets, 25-13, 25-16, and 25-17.
The Hornets finish the year at 4-8 overall and 3-4 in league in fifth place. They were able to play defense against the Panthers but just were not able to get their offense going.
The Hornets need more offense if they want to compete in the playoffs. This has been a problem for the Hornets all year long. Sullivan believes in his team and agrees he needs to put more points on the board.
“Some of our outside hitters need to be more aggressive and confident because once they get into their rhythm they rack up points, but in order to get into a rhythm you have to consistently attack the ball. Defensively the team has improved. Against Alamo, the team won some tough fought rallies and had 61 digs, which meant that Alamo was attacking the ball, only problem was we were not and the team only had 15 kills,” commented Sullivan.
Sullivan thinks the team let the Panthers get to them.
“The girls were very intimidated playing Alamo. I told the girls when they walk into that gym they need to walk in with confidence, but playing Alamo at home can be intimidating for any team. I feel confident going into playoffs because these girls have the ability to beat both Lund and Alamo, but they have to believe they can and be willing to do what it takes to come out victorious,” remarked Sullivan.
Sullivan will be working on his offense for the playoffs. At the moment the team has an 82 percent serving percentage. Team kills are led by Melynda Gross, Shankara Venezio and Christina Thompson. Against the Panthers Venezio led the team with 5 kills followed by Gross and Thompson who both had 3 kills apiece.
Shankara Venezio, a Hornet hitter and blocker, believes the team can succeed in the playoffs. “We just need to have the drive to do it. We work hard and we know we can do it. As coach always says, it always starts with the first pass. We have to have the first pass so we can get a good set and kill it,” said Venezio.