Regals Volleyball Face Number One Team in the Nation Emory University


Jimmy Landrum

Mackenzie Martinez, junior opposite hitter, spikes the ball while playing in the East to West Battle tournament.

Alexandria Ibarra, Reporter

On Friday, Sept. 13, the Regals volleyball team traveled to Missouri for the East to West Battle tournament.

The team faced Washington University in St. Louis, Emory University and Trinity University, but ultimately came home with three losses.

“I thought they battled against really veteran, excellent teams,” Regals Head Coach Kellee Roesel said.

Sophomore middle blocker Maci Haddad said their experience playing against Emory, the number one team in the nation, gave them the confidence to compete against any other team.

“Knowing we can compete with the number one team in the nation just really makes us want to play harder,” Haddad said.

This new-found confidence will help them during conference play, sophomore libero Julia Trento said.

“I think we competed really well this weekend against the top teams, but there’s definitely more in us,” Trento said.

The team has a list of many small goals they wish to accomplish throughout the season, but the biggest is to take the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship. Some of their smaller goals come into play each game including: “playing our hardest every game, playing with no regrets and playing confidently,” Haddad said.

The team focuses on encouraging one another and believing in the program, the coach and in their teammates, junior opposite hitter Mackenzie Martinez said.

“We like to meet in the locker room before every practice and every game and just discuss the small goals that are going to help to achieve our bigger goals,” Martinez said.

The team has spent the last month preparing for the season.

“Our team is absolutely ready to take on SCIAC, we’ve been practicing for over a month now. Long double practices, weights, three big tournaments playing the toughest teams to prepare for SCIAC and we’re ready,” Trento said.

The team strives to really focus on loving the game because “the teams that love the game are the ones that are going to be the winners on top,” Martinez said.

Knowing that the team has already gone up against some of the top teams in the nation and knowing that they are able to compete on that level is going to be key throughout their SCIAC season, Trento said.

“We all want it, we all deserve it, we all work hard every single day. So it’s going to be up to us what happens in SCIAC, but I have the full confidence that each and every player that goes out on the court will make a positive contribution into hopefully helping us win a lot of games,” Martinez said.

In 2017, the team tied for third place in SCIAC and in 2018 the team took second place.

“We’re ready to come out winning,” Trento said.

Watch the Regals’ next game in Redlands on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. against the University of Redlands.