The Cuyahoga Challengers Women’s Volleyball team had a tough season. As we look back from their time on the court, it wasn’t an impressive display for the ladies. However off the court, it was a different scenario. I had the opportunity to speak with Holly Hoffman, the 5′ 5″ freshman setter from Streetsboro, about both the high and low points of the season. Hoffman said, “Next season, we just have to push harder to get more wins.”
Record wise, the team didn’t accomplish what they wanted, but as a group the ladies were able to get along well. Throughout the season, there were injuries, illness and even an early departure, providing unforeseen hardships for the team.
To make up for the loss of players, some of the ladies had to change positions, but this didn’t stop their drive to finish this season on a good note. They all worked together to make sure everyone was on the same page. During their travels the ladies chemistry evolved, and not only did they became more aware regarding the team’s position, but it also allowed them to prepare themselves mentally going forward.
This season was a lesson to a lot of newcomers and facing some of the better opponents in the league proved to be a learning experience. Hoffman mentioned that the team’s favorite opponent was Owens Community College Women’s Volleyball team because, “They were a very flawless team. We were amazed at some of the girls and their talent.”
The relationships she had with each of her teammates was one thing, but her relationship with the coach was even better. She connected with Coach Mary Colovas over the season, and whenever someone was down, the team knew that “Coach Mary” had their back. Coach Mary had a motherly vibe to her, and the ladies knew they could go to her for anything. She protected her team and always kept everything positive.
Although the ladies season didn’t have a fairytale ending, next season should be an even better. Now that they have the chemistry, all they need are the wins. Winning more games will be the primary focus for the squad next year.