Women’s Volleyball Player Blog with Fernanda Bartels
As women’s volleyball gets ready to board a plane north to Boston for their match at Northeastern tomorrow night, the GoMason Blog had a chance to get impressions of the season and this weekend’s upcoming matches with senior setter Fernanda Bartels. A Belo Horizonte, Brazil native, Bartels, who also writes for the Broadside student newspaper, has started every match this year and is coming off an All-CAA Second Team selection in 2009.
It was a perfect start. We couldn’t have asked for more: game of the week against our rival JMU, the crowd showed up, and we came together to win the match in three sets. It felt great. We were passing well, putting the ball away, and blocking everything! It was nice to get that first conference game out of the way. I always get nervous on a first match, especially conference games. For me, starting conference play is always exciting, but stressful at the same time. There is no pressure during pre-season tournaments; pre-season is a time to learn about ourselves as a team, learn from our success and our mistakes. So we did. We had ups and downs during preseason, and we learned some lessons the hard way. In the end we found our identity, and we found what we stood for. We never give up, and we are never outplayed.
With that in mind, we were ready for JMU. We’re getting ready for Northeastern and Hofstra this weekend. Northeastern has shown a high level of play during past seasons. They’re known for their quick offense and combinations. Northeastern is ranked first with 2 conference wins against big teams, VCU and William& Mary. They’re definitely a team to watch out for.
Hofstra, on the other hand, lost both of their games last weekend. However, it’s too early on the season to tell how they are going to do this year. Hofstra deserves our respect; they won the CAA’s the year before I came to Mason, and have a strong program.
I could keep going about our opponents and how much we know about them, but when it comes to actually playing, it is all about us. We will always have control over our game and our attitude, but we can’t control what they are going to do on the other side of the court. We know we can be aggressive on the net, chase balls, celebrate every point, and make smart decisions, but we can’t control if they’re going to run a quick offense, float or jump serve. As PK always says, we have to take care of our side first. And that’s all it is going to come down to this weekend: taking care of our game.
The Patriots return home next weekend to host Georgia State and UNC Wilmington on Friday and Saturday night, respectively, at the RAC.