CELEBRATION: Libero Kate Cobb reacts to a Forester kill in her team's home win against Saint Francis Oct. 21. (photo by Quinton Worthy)
CELEBRATION: Libero Kate Cobb reacts to a Forester kill in her team’s home win against Saint Francis Oct. 21. (photo by Quinton Worthy)

The women’s volleyball team is approaching the finish of regular season play. Sitting at 7-9 in conference action, they are using the remaining time to prepare for the upcoming conference tournament.

“A couple of the goals we set in place at the beginning of the season are still attainable,” said head coach Kyle Shondell. “The first is that we want to finish top four in the conference so that we can host our first match of the conference tournament.”

In 2015, the Foresters finished 8-10 in conference play, landing them in sixth place and in a spot in the tournament.

After a tough stretch of conference games this season, HU has a chance to repeat their appearance. Shondell said his team still has more to show and is hoping this will come out during tournament play.

“Our team is more talented and developed than a lot of other teams in the conference,” he said. “Over the past couple years, we have moved from the bottom of the conference to the middle and now we are at the hard part: moving from the middle to the top.”

For this season, qualifying wasn’t enough of an aspiration for the Foresters, who made it to the semi-finals match of the conference last year, Shondell said. This year, they want to be one of the final two teams standing. This outcome secures a spot at Nationals, win or lose. In order to prepare, Shondell said he is coaching his team to be as consistent as possible.

“We have the players,” he said. “We just need to learn how to be consistent. We need to learn how to play our best game of volleyball at all times.”

Junior Kate Cobb said she agrees with Shondell  that her team needs to become more dependable.

“We are focusing on high intensity practices and cleaning up a few things we have noticed that’s hurt us in games,” said Cobb. “Not only are we focusing on tightening our game but on our relationships as well. A team that plays for each other every point is hard to break and allows for more consistency.”

Entering the last weekend of October, the Foresters were fifth in the conference with a record of 7-9. They have two tough conference matches left against conference foes IWU and Grace. Ending with a better record than the year before requires a win in each match. The conference tournament begins Nov. 5.