Zach Stich/Daily Journal The Spartans prepare for their first NJCAA national tournament since 2004 as they take on Jamestown Community College, N.Y. in the opening round Friday in Rochester at 12:30 p.m.

Archived Story

Driven by a common goal

Published 11:23am Thursday, November 8, 2012

When you put together the right nucleus and develop great team chemistry, anything can happen.

That is what the M State Spartan volleyball team found out this season as they were able to win the Region XIII title, unseating last year’s national champion Ridgewater Community College.

“Pure jubilation,” Spartan coach Terri Strom described the accomplishment. “Just watching the girls evolve from where we were at the beginning of the season and playing our best ball at the right time is a dream come true.”

Starting the season, the Spartans had a rough showing at a home, season opening tournament.

M State was able to overcome injuries and a few bumps in the road to string together a 14-9 record. The Spartans were able to knock off another nationally ranked team in Rochester Community and Technical College to setup the title match with Warriors.

A hard fought battle found the Spartans edging out Ridgewater 3-2 and punching their ticket into the national tournament.

Asked what made the difference, coach Strom pointed to the team coming together.

“The team decided as a unit, if they work together and had a common goal, they could achieve it.”

On a freshmen dominant team, Strom points to her sophomore leadership as a positive on this year’s squad.

“Overall we have strong leadership from our sophomore class and our freshmen are really good at listening and learning,” Strom added.

The fourth seeded Spartans will open the tournament against Jamestown Community College, N.Y. (31-11), who received the fifth seed.

The Jayhawks have a pair of tough hitters in Brittany Brace and Aricca Lis, while setter Christina Rauh has performed at a high level, even receiving national recognition this season.

“You have to go and play your game and make adjustments as you see fit.”

Strom hasn’t changed what has worked for her team, but does keep it fresh, keeping it fun late in the season.

Strom would like to thank the parents, fans, faculty and the others on campus for their support throughout the season.

M State will hit the court Friday in Rochester at 12:30 p.m. and will have a match following win or lose.

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