LLCC volleyball team plagued by unforced errors

Ryan Scott, Assistant Editor

The Loggers entered the season as the 12th-ranked team in the nation and currently have a record of 28-14. Given the previous year, that may be seen as a letdown, but Head Coach Jim Dietz believes this team is an inconsistent but still good team.

“We are freshmen-dominated, so I knew that we’d be up and down with the consistency this year,” Dietz said.

He was pleased with how they played against John A. Logan on Oct. 5. That’s the level the Loggers want to play on a consistent basis.

Freshman Logger Molly Ashbaugh believes the team is ready and prepared for the postseason after a “ rocky start”

The Loggers have had a lot of unforced errors leading to some losses in games where the Loggers should’ve won.

“We just need to eliminate unforced errors,” Dietz said. “We’ve had multiple matches where we bleed 5 or 6 points without forcing our opponent to do anything more than serve the ball in-bounds.”

Ashbaugh believes the team can have postseason success: “ We all know what we have to do to win, but it’s easier said than done. We have to work on making fewer errors and picking up short tips especially against teams who know our weaknesses.”

“It’s a strange year for NJCAA volleyball,” Dietz said. “Teams under .500 are beating ranked teams, top D2 teams are beating top D1 teams, some D3 teams have wins over D1 and D2 squads.  If you were a time traveler and told me, ‘Hey, you make it to the Final Four!’ I’d be happy and know we kept improving with our consistency, but it wouldn’t surprise me.  Same thing the other way, ‘Hey, you guys didn’t make it to Nationals in 2019,’ and I’d know we didn’t avoid our runs of errors when we reached the postseason. The runs of unforced errors will determine our success when we get to November and crunch time”.

Ashbaugh said on the postseason: “We are all very excited for the rest of the season and for post-season because our whole goal this year was to go to Nationals, we just have to put it in the work to get there.”

The Loggers regular season will end on Nov. 2, and the regional tournament will begin on Nov. 9.