by John Osborn sports editor
After a respectable start to the season, the Lady Archers went into a slight lull mid-season with losses against some relatively strong NAIA and DIII teams. But the team continued to work hard for the remainder of the season with a focus on perseverance and mental toughness. “Our players needed to learn to play with intensity for all 25 points per game, and to finish strong on the games where we had a lead,” said Head Coach Sam Choy. “That takes a lot of intensity and mental toughness in a region with two of the top teams in the country, and we began to see that ‘killer instinct’ during the last couple of matches of our regular season.”
In addition to working on being mentally tough, the coaching staff also made adjustments to the offensive schemes to focus on specific plays that helped to make the offense more potent, with the starting setter calling plays and running the offense. The players’ hard work along with mid-season adjustments helped to propel the team to a third place finish during the Midwest Regional Championship behind two teams that were ranked #2 and #3 in the country during regular season play. “The coaches and I are extremely proud of the way our players competed during regionals,” Coach Choy said. “We came closer than any other team to beating the #2 ranked team in the country, and we won our third place match with a 3-0 sweep of a team that was seeded ahead of us for the tournament!”
In fact, the Lady Archers worked so hard and played so well during the season-ending tournament that two of the Lady Archers were voted onto both the All Regional Team and the All Tournament Team. Additionally, a freshman player was voted by all the coaches as the Midwest Region Freshman Player of the Year.