When taking to the court, athletes must enter with heads raised in confidence, projecting a positive attitude to their opponents.
In the “Iliad,” when Achilles approaches Hector in battle, Homer describes Achilles as, “all radiant as the star which men call Orion’s Hound, and whose beams blaze forth in time of harvest more brilliantly than those of any other that shines by night ... he brings fire and fever in his train ... as he sped onwards.” Achilles defeated Hector, perhaps with help from the gods but, also, perhaps from the start, he had the upper hand with an entrance marked by such grand confidence.
Last Thursday night, the Pirates took on the Kirtland Central Broncos and, although it was Homecoming week, the game was at Kirtland. Unlike Achilles, the Pirates did not enter with beams blazing, but with an air of fatigue from a week of Homecoming activities. The Pirates could not muster the strength to take down the Broncos and lost the match in four sets: 17-25, 18-25, 25-18 ,17-25.
“So many of the girls are on student council, so many were staying late at school and we had two away games. The girls were exhausted,” said coach Connie O’Donnell. “They played tired,” O’Donnell continued, describing their performance in terms of not being able to get anything started.
“The girls had problems setting up the plays,” she said.
All season, the Pirates have worked on serves in practice, specifically jump serves, but the skill was not transferred to the court. O’Donnell thinks the reason is lack of confidence.
Despite the fatigued team performance, junior Gabby Pajak had 28 digs and six kills. Senior Brooklyn DuCharme had five kills. Senior Katie Armbrecht had four block assists.
“We’re a strong defensive team,” O’Donnell said, adding that, against the Broncos, the team did well at the net, with strong blocking.
Tonight, the Pirates travel to take on the Monte Vista Pirates in a league match.
“We haven’t played them yet,” O’Donnell said. “We took the weekend off and had no game Tuesday, so hopefully we’ll be ready to get back into it, display energy and be confident.”
To help in this, during practice the Pirates are working on serving and receiving. O’Donnell is hoping to see some jump serves against Monte.
“The ladies have been practicing with energy,” O’Donnell said. The hope is that the energy will continue into the game tonight.