Navigating a season in which it has a new coach and several underclassman athletes in new roles, the Olympia volleyball team has been working to find a rhythm in the midst of some early losses.
Earlier this month, the Titans went through a stretch spanning three days Sept. 13 to 15 during which they lost four out of six matches (five of those losses occurred while competing in the Winter Park High School Showcase).
Olympia bounced back last week, though, with two important wins and rolled that momentum into a sweep of three matches this week.
First, the Titans swept nearby Windermere High Sept. 18: 25-19, 26-24, 25-19. Two days later, they had little trouble dispatching Cypress Creek in a district matchup: 25-21, 25-11, 25-16.
Olympia began this week with a 3-1 win over The First Academy Sept. 25. The next day, the Titans swept Jones and, on Sept. 27, they swept Apopka. Now 10-7 on the season, Olympia has won five matches in-a-row, dropping just two sets during that span.
The win against the Wolverines — during which an enthusiastic student section looked on as senior outside hitter Mya Wilson registered a team-high 15 kills — was particularly encouraging for first-year coach Julianne Calcote.
“It definitely was a good win for us,” Calcote said. “We had a goal that we worked on — really trying to serve more aggressively to get teams out of system — and I thought we did that really well tonight.”
Beyond the significance of victories that have brought that team back over .500, the winning-streak has showcased how well the team — built around the core trio of Wilson, Emma McElveen and Anaeli Perea — can play when it is hitting on all cylinders.
Olympia closes the regular season with four contests against Metro West Conference opponents, including a rematch of last fall’s state semifinal Oct. 9 against West Orange.
With the FHSAA Class 9A, District 5 Tournament looming Oct. 15, the Titans — which will host the tournament — have hopes they have turned a corner.
“Tonight was a huge stepping-stone for us,” Calcote said after her team defeated the Wolverines Sept. 18. “We’d struggled and been super error-heavy. Tonight, even in our weak moments, we still looked strong.”