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Thunder success coming from mental game

There is no ‘I’ in team, and the Algonquin women’s varsity volleyball team has come to know this both on and off the court.

They are working together on the court to win the next few games to determine if they will make it to playoffs while also working on their team chemistry off the court.

“Our record is pretty good; we’re at 10 wins, three losses,” said coach of 18 years, Everton Senior. “So, it looks great on paper but I think we’re not at exactly where we want to be.

“We’ve played well at stretches but we definitely can get better and have to get better if we want to qualify for the provincial championships.”

This season’s team are made up of a large group of first-years, four returning second years and one fifth year. With the team being made up of mostly rookies, a 10-3 record is impressive.

“One thing I’ve noticed, is that when we’re down it takes a lot to get us back up,” said Serah Rounds-Zavitz, a fifth year player, when talking about the teams’ confidence. “We will go on a 5-point run, it’s going great, and somebody makes a mistake and its almost like we’ve lost the game.

“A lot of the time we will be on the court and one point against us happens and I hear people saying things about themselves that they shouldn’t be saying.”

This year will be Rounds-Zavitz’s last year on the court playing for Algonquin.

Sidney Sletcher, a rookie on the team, said the team has been doing really well but they reach a low in their mental game when they lose to teams like Centennial. The Thunder’s last game against the Colts was a 3-0 loss. They lost the one prior to that 3-1.

“If you can keep some girls for three and four years that’s great,” said coach Senior. “We have a bonus in our captain this year, Serah Rounds-Zavitz. This is her fifth year, its great that she stuck around that long and it’s unfortunate that this is it.”

While playing a game like volleyball demands that players need to be in synch, the revolving door of rookies from year to year makes bonding difficult.

“We try to do things outside of the gym, team bonding, things like that,” said Senior.

The girls got to know each other through the exercises that Senior set up for them and through outside team activities. They work together like a well-oiled machine and that helps them extremely on the court.

“Its going to be a coin toss; the west is stronger from top to bottom. Whoever we play is going to be a formidable challenge, it’s going to be tough but I think it’s going to be do-able,” coach Senior said.

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