FORT KENT, Me (WAGM) - The UMFK volleyball team made it to nationals last year, but the trip didn't go quite as planned. The Bengals lost all their matches, but are looking to make their mark this season. The Bengals are focused on trying to play the game on their terms and so far it's working.
"Just playing up. Always playing at our level and never playing at someone else's. Keeping the ball in the game at our speed. Last year at nationals it kind of took a toll on us. I don't think we were fully prepared, but this year we're shooting for that and playing every single game at our speed no matter who it is.," said head coach Jessany Munoz.
The Bengals dropped the opening match of the season to a very good Carlow team and since have won 13 of 14.
"To come off the bat with a really tough two week preseason from 6:00AM all the way to 8:00PM and then coming out with a loss it kind of hurt. From then on we just had to work hard and go from there and we did. They had the mindset to push through it and I don't think they like to lose any more than I do," Munoz said.
"It was a reality check, if we want to win we got to push now. So I feel like the girls stepped up to the plate and looking for a good year," added junior Payton Spragling.
Most of the starters graduated last year and a new group of players have stepped up.
"It's great because the girls are always out here working hard, good team chemistry going on. Rough start, but we figured it out and I'm hoping we can go all the way this year," Spragling said.
"More diversity. Everyone's from different places and can play different positions. We're all versatile and can play anywhere and still trust each other," senior Hope Driscoll explained.
Something new this year for the team is the amount of home games. UMFK has 10 home matches on the schedule and the team is happy to be traveling less to play.
"That's the best part. Last season we had about 2 or 3, a very small amount. This season we have more so it's exciting that everyone can come here and support and watch us," Driscoll said.