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Volleyball team remains positive after a weekend of two difficult matches

The Mills volleyball team suffered another loss Saturday night against Menlo College, continuing their unbroken string of defeats this season.

In approximately 90 minutes, the teams sped through three games all in favor of Menlo. The match followed Friday's against Bethany College, which was held in consensus among the team to be the best of their season, even though they lost.

The first game was a 30-13 loss that set the tone for the rest of the match. The ball continuously sped by Mills players, always just out of reach. Even when the Mills team rose to the occasion, Menlo was there to return the ball.

Menlo took the first nine points in the second game as Mills players struggled to communicate with each other. Though the Mills players filled the court with game time chatter, no one seemed to listen, resulting in mishaps where either no one or everyone went for the ball. A final score of 30-7 put Menlo ahead 2-0 in the match.

In the third game, Menlo pulled ahead five points in the beginning, but Mills returned two of the points. The teams traded points toward a score of 9-5, but Mills couldn't gather the momentum needed to launch a rally. The final game ended 30-13, giving Menlo a win in the match.

Overshot serves, out-of-bound returns and miscommunication characterized the teamwork that lacked throughout the match.

"We didn't come out fired up or confident enough. We just reverted back to our previous game mentality," said sophomore Nadia Ghani of the loss.

Ghani compared Saturday's game to that of the night before. "Friday was really awesome because we really came together as a team and put all the stuff that we've been working on together," she said.

With a developing young team, "bumps in the road are to be expected and conflict – internally and externally generated – is part of the healthy growing process," said Head Coach Marla Mundis. Coming out of Saturday's match, the team is regrouping to focus on how to continue to improve both on and off the court, according to Mundis.

At the end of the season, multiple injuries and exhaustion also added to the stress of the game, said Ghani.

There are three more matches left in the season as Mills goes to Dominican University and Holy Names University before ending the season at home against Pacific Union College. The last match, to be played on Nov. 6, is also the Blue and Gold match to honor senior Cyclones. It will be the last intercollegiate appearance for seniors Nikki Fitzgibbon and Kate Paisley.

Sophia Tuttle contributed reporting to this story.