by JD Hershberger – Horizon Sports Editor
“Every game matters.”
Coaches love instilling this belief in their players because no matter where they are in the standings it gives them a sense of urgency, that nothing matters more than winning the game they’re playing right now.
It’s fortunate then that Mollie Nebel and the rest of the Larks volleyball team believe in this mantra, as they travel to Arkansas City today to take on No. 1-ranked Cowley College, the defending national champions. After clinching a ticket to the playoffs for the first time since 2007, a sense of urgency is what they need.
Nebel is choosing to focus on the positive.
“We have nothing to lose so I am excited to just go and play our best,” she said.
Realistically speaking there doesn’t seem on paper to be much else the Larks can do, but this attitude by the sophomore star is perfectly in line with that “every game matters” kind of mindset. If you play your best, then what else can head coach Jessica Cleveland ask from her players?
Cleveland, in her second year as Hesston’s head coach, has guided the Larks to a 19-13 record and has been a major part of the Larks’ success this season.
“Jessica has high expectations for us both on and off the court, which I think has greatly contributed to our success,” Nebel said. She also knows what she is talking about and I think we have all learned so much about the game of volleyball during our time here at Hesston.”
Nebel, who played her final home game for the Larks in their 25-15, 25-13, 25-20 win over Bethel College JV last Saturday, is an excellent example of Cleveland’s tutoring having a great impact on the players she coaches.
And if that lessoned Nebel learned about every game mattering will ever have an opportunity to shine through, it’ll be today against the top-ranked Tigers.