Women’s Volleyball Player Blog with Fernanda Bartels
The George Mason women’s volleyball team dropped its first conference match of the season this past weekend, but the Patriots still lead the Colonial Athletic Association and are poised to stay atop the standings with a match at James Madison this Saturday. Senior Fernanda Bartels returns to the GoMason Blog to give her thoughts on the past weekend and the season ahead:
Last weekend was a tough weekend. We lost our first conference match against VCU in five sets. It was a good game, but it wasn’t enough. Parts of the match reminded me of the championship match last year. When we heard them cheering on the walk to their locker room in between sets, we knew we had faced that situation before. We fought hard to come back on the third and fourth sets. Unfortunately, the outcome of the match was not the same as last year’s.
The loss gave us a great opportunity to rethink about our game, our strengths and weaknesses. With the loss, we learned more about ourselves than we did in any other match. It was the first time that we had our backs against the wall, and we were forced to deal with a situation that is fairly new for this season.
This is the kind of match we want to play, a match where the opponent challenges us. Matches in which we would do anything to not let the ball drop, that take our breath away, that inspire the crowd. Those are the matches we’ve been waiting for. And I can’t wait to play VCU again.
After a loss, we just have to pick ourselves up, keep our heads in the right place, and move on. That’s the way volleyball is, that’s the way life is. After one ball, there is another ball coming; and another one after that. There is no time to feel sorry for ourselves, or find excuses. Shake it off, next play. That is the nature of the game. Also, in the way the conference is set up, there is no time to overthink a loss. We have to get ready for James Madison, who is hungry for conference wins.
This weekend, we play JMU this Saturday at their gym. Next weekend, we face Delaware and Towson. I’m looking forward to playing Delaware! They only have one loss, and that match will be important to define the number one seed in the conference. After Delaware and Towson, we are going to Georgia State and UNC Wilmington for our last road trip of the season. Then we are finally back at Mason for our final matches of the regular season against Northeastern and Hofstra.
One month left, and a lot of work to do.