By Falak Jamal
The Bears celebrate a kill by Safi Hampton during a game against Glen Burnie.
“It’s common for other schools to assume that the aspect of Hammond is that people expect us to suck but if we perform better than they thought we can show them we are better” says Senior Marissa Cossa. According to coach Corey the season has been great so far with the lineup consisting of seven seniors and four juniors. They definitely have had some heartbreaking games coming close to beating the Howard Lions with a score of 23-25. Referee shortages have contributed to making the games a little frustrating for the team.
“It’s exciting to see how we showed up in a majority of the games and it felt really uplifting even though we didn’t come out with a W” said Coach Corey. The games have definitely brought them closer together and showed that they can fight for the win against some of the top schools in the county. This is sadly the last season for players that have been in the program since they were freshmen. “It’s bittersweet and I want to live in the moment but I also know they are getting closer to their senior game which is one of the games I am most excited for,” said coach Corey. Seven seniors leaving will create some big shoes to fill for the current juniors and sophomores, but coach Corey believes that “they will initially have to build as a team whether they have players who have stepped up or not”.
The team and the coaches collectively agree that they have improved on their serve receive. While building their volleyball skills the girls are also building strong and loving relationships. One with assistant coach Cameron where she says she’s building more of a mental support for the girls and looks at them as little sisters. “The girls definitely have a fight. It’s just getting them on the same page to get them to fight at the same time.” said coach Cameron, which has been their biggest challenge this year. The players definitely believe they’re at their lowest when they argue over simple mistakes and don’t take the chance to learn from them.
“A strong start gives us momentum and a strong mindset which subconsciously determines the game,” says senior Zahra Miknas, but seeing a group of girls with a bond like this is something that coach Cameron doesn’t get to see very often, so even if they don’t win games everyone is still there for each other building a family bond everyday. Adjusting to new players is definitely a different environment but the girls try to stay positive and learn from the new players with ambitious goals set in their minds. “We have great dynamics and definitely have a chance to win the 2AA division!” exclaims senior Jariah Janae. Overall it’s been a great season but in order to prepare for a strong end to the season the Hammond bears have to “Side out and T up” says senior Hannah Chambers.