Coach Erin Harris on Volleyball’s 17-1 Start

we’re here with volleyball head coach erin
Harris the team off to one of the best starts in program history 17 and one
you’re getting votes in the top 25 poll just what’s been going right for the
team this season I think that we have a lot of really good leadership and we
have created this kind of culture in our practice gym where when we make mistakes
or we’re taking risks we are really supportive of that and of each other and
we’re not necessarily super panicky if things are not always going right which
has been kind of a process and that’s kind of caught up to us in a couple of
games like in Roanoke things are not always going right for us and we ended
up going to five sets with them and we probably could have handled it three but
now that the season is progressing we’re limiting that and we’re narrowing that
window a lot which I think is it’s working and at home last weekend you had
one of your toughest tests in the odac against Washington and Lee one of the
contenders each year and you swept them three nothing so you know talk about
that match and what the team did right in that one yeah you know we
prepped for it the same way we prepped for every conference match we watched
film they have a scouting report and then kind of implemented things into
practice but I think the team went in feeling a little bit more confident this
year you know we knocked off Southern Virginia earlier in the season and we’ve
been playing well and I think the team recognizes that we’ve been kind of on
this uphill climb and we haven’t plateaued yet someone we hit W&L we had
a very good game plan we stuck to it we executed and we did a really good job of
minimizing the runs that w and I went on I thought we we caught up to them
quickly whenever they were ahead and we were willing to take a punch and give
one way back we didn’t get knocked over which I was proud of us for looking at
some of the players you have this year you returned the odac player of the
year and one of the first two all-americans in program history and
Rachel Gaston and she’s picked right up where she left off so how was her impact
you know affected when you play some of these top teams I mean everyone looks at
Rachel Gaston right when things are going well when things are not going
well everyone is looking to her all the time so she’s got a heavy heavy load
that she’s carrying all the time and she’s handling it with so much grace and
so much leadership not only just how she plays but how she interacts we have a
lot of freshmen that are playing this year and she has
such a good mentor and leader to them and she’s just that person you can
depend on on the court and off the court and you know I think she’s a big reason
that we’re so successful not just her but the rest of the team as well in some
of those freshmen and transfers that are playing a big role I think there’s five
of them that are not just playing a lot but they’re all 510 or taller yeah so
how is it you know that influx of not just talent but also size really help
yes we’ve been able I think to be a little bit more aggressive at the net
in terms of blocking net play things like that that we’ve wanted to do for
years but now we finally have the height and the size that we can do that but we
do have a lot of young players on the court and especially our setter is a
freshman which is a very pivotal role kind of scary as a coach to put your
freshmen in charge of your whole team but grace has done an amazing job
stepping in and like we said Gaston has really helped her and mentored her and
the team just has a lot of chemistry and they’re really all gelling together so
it’s been really fun to watch them grow and develop and it kind of progresses
the season goes along and we still have some big matches coming up
including the other two odac teams that are undefeated Virginia Wesleyan
and then randolph-macon which will be here and you know those two matches will
probably decide your chances of being the top seed so you know what do we
expect from some of those big matches coming up I think we always expect it to
be tight and we know we have to run a tight ship and take care of all the
little points and we have to earn everything we can’t you know miss a ton
of serves like we have done some of the matches we’ve played this year so it’s
something we’re very aware of but I think winning against Washington and Lee
has given us a lot of confidence to know that yes we’re young but yes we are
talented and we can play at that level and I think our team feels really good
going into it and we’re excited to play those matches I think we’re gonna handle
them they’re gonna be a tough match for sure but I think that we are prepared
and I think we’re just getting better and better so we have a couple weeks
till we hit those opponents and I think we’ll be able to work on some more stuff
and it’ll be a good matchup and playing them at home is definitely a benefit I

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