By Chris Chaney
The Clermont Northeastern girls’ volleyball team has had a rough go of things thus far in their 2012 season, competing hard against teams and in many cases forcing matches to five games, but they have been unable to close the deal.
Head coach Carmen Tobe is seeing the strides that her team has needed to make in recent matches that has her optimistic that the Lady Rockets can salvage their season and end up with a winning record.
“We started out pretty strong, but then in the middle of the season we kind of had a couple rough games,” she said. “We would take teams to five games, but we wouldn’t leave with the ‘W.’
The Lady Rockets started the season on the right foot by sweeping their trimatch against New Richmond and Ripley Union on Aug. 25, but then went on a skid during which they lost four straight matches.
Three of those matches were league games in the Southern Buckeye Conference National Division, all of which went the full five games, but none of them ended with a CNE victory. The other game, against Walnut Hills, went four games and again ended with the Lady Rockets on the short end of the stick.
The team caught a little hot streak midway through the season winning four of five in the middle of September, but have since cooled off.
The Lady Rockets dropped five straight matches against the likes of Indian Hill, Goshen, Western Brown Fayetteville and Amelia.
However, Tobe believes that the team has made positive adjustments and is trending in the right direction heading into the home stretch of the season.
“This past Thursday (Sept. 27), my girls played awesome and beat Williamsburg in five games,” the coach said. “That was an awesome win. The next two weeks we have the end of our league games to hopefully push through and I definitely have high hopes for them.”
The Lady Rockets are made up of a majority of younger players with only three seniors on the squad to bring leadership. However, Tobe has relied on those three to help their younger teammates prepare to parlay their momentum into the following seasons.
“I have three returning seniors, Katie Joslin, Raelyn Reynolds and Autumn Kenser,” Tobe said. “My team otherwise is pretty young, I have freshman and sophomores and some juniors. We are going to keep pushing at it. The potential is there we just need to push it all the way.”
Sitting currently at 7-10 overall and 3-3 in the SBC (third place), the Lady Rockets have a chance to finish strongly and perhaps overtake second place from Williamsburg.
Over the next two weeks, CNE will finish out their schedule with four conference games beginning with an away match at league-leading Felicity. Batavia and Blanchester will visit Clermont Northeastern before the season finale at Georgetown on Oct. 11.
“I am hoping with the conference that we can finish on the winning end. We’re kind of half-way in the standings right now,” Tobe said. “I’m hoping with our win last Thursday against one of our top conference teams that they’ll be ready to push the rest of the games.”