As the Blue Wave volleyball squad pursues playoff success, head coach José Rivera sat down with The Campus Voice before Friday’s Tournament of Champions matches at South Campus to discuss FSCJ’s season.
What has been the team’s biggest achievement so far this season?
“We beat Central Florida for the first time and it was great. We went to their place and won in four. It was a great achievement to give Central Florida their first loss in the conference in four years.”
If you could sum up this team in one word, what would it be and why?
“Resilient. We have gone through a lot of things, from injuries to sickness… The girls work very hard every day, through injuries, through good plays and bad plays. Looking at last year, we went 26-9, and all of a sudden this year we were 13-15 [entering the Tournament of Champions]. It’s a big turnaround, but they keep working and keep pushing. So they’re very resilient. They just forget what happened the last day and move on to the next.”
What are your goals for the season’s final weeks?
“Our goals are to win the next conference matches. We have one against St. Johns on Thursday [Oct. 23]. That’s our sophomore night and it starts at 6 p.m. And we’re traveling on Tuesday to Daytona, which is a very important match. So winning those two and getting into the tournament, which we are hosting the first week of November.”
You have a lot of games coming up in a very short time with these tournaments. How do you prepare for such a tight schedule?
“The best way to get ready is by resting, making our practices shorter, very concise and very precise, and giving the young ladies time to recover. With academic loads and athletic loads, training and study halls and stuff like that, it’s very hard on a student-athlete.”
For students interested in coming out to watch Blue Wave volleyball, what can they expect?
“They should be able to expect a lot of excitement. When they go into the gym right now, it’s a huge tournament. You have some of the best teams in the country playing great volleyball. And it’s a representation of what Blue Wave athletics is all about – a big family, a group of individuals who are very determined to win and to put Blue Wave Country on the map.”
For up-to-date team schedules, visit http://www.gobluewave.com/womens-volleyball/schedule.php.