Volleyball Team Still Encouraged Despite Some Early Season Struggles

Adrian Bennett de Avila, Sports Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Cal State LA volleyball opened their season at the Texan Invitational, a tournament that was set up after hurricane Dorian caused the cancellation of what was supposed to be their season opening tournament at Palm Beach Atlantic. The Golden Eagles played 4 games over 3 days, where they finished with a 1-3 record, after taking on some highly ranked opponents.  

The volleyball team entered this season with their hopes set on a national championship but aren’t discouraged after some difficult results in the lone star state. 

We know we can compete with all of those teams. We do so many things better than all of them. We [just] need to find consistency through long matches. I believe physically we are at that level, but mentally we got a lot of work to do,” said head coach Juan Figueroa.

One of the games where Cal State LA really got to show their mental strength was against Tarleton State, who at that time was ranked tenth in the AVCA Coaches poll. However, some issues in the deciding game of the match also showed they have some room to grow. 

Cal State LA bounced back after going down two games to Tarleton State, winning the third and fourth games 25-15 and 25-10 respectively. However, they ended up losing in heartbreaking fashion 15-12 in the fifth game. 

“That was the toughest loss because we had a 10-7 [lead] in the fifth and some silly errors put them back in the game and we couldn’t execute down the stretch,” said Figueroa. 

There were bright spots in the tourney. Cal State LA got some terrific performances from a number of players. One of the standouts was outside hitter Alejandra Negron. Negron averaged 13.25 kills over the course of the tournament. She also had the best hitting percentage amongst all outside hitters at the tournament, according to her head coach. 

“We expect that from her. She does good in practice, she’s really good. She definitely [had a] really, really good tournament,” said opposite hitter, Julia Azevedo.  

Outside hitter Daisy Portillo agreed with her coach, and felt the team made too many mental errors throughout the tournament. However, she’s still confident and optimistic.

“We know we can do better; we know we can perform; we know we can play better. It just wasn’t our best.” 

The volleyball squad will have some tough tests ahead of them, but Portillo feels they are ready.   

“That’s the frustrating part of it. We know we can do really, really well. So, we are ready to fight and we are ready to kick butt.”