“We have to try to cure our faults by attention and not by will. The will only controls a few movements of a few muscles … What could be more stupid than to tighten up our muscles and set our jaws about virtue, or poetry, or the solution of a problem. Attention is something quite different,” Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace, 1952.
In the past week, the Lady Pirate volleyball team won one match and lost two. It wasn’t physical strength that won or lost the games. It wasn’t the desire for the win or the will to win that was lacking in the Pirates, either.
It was their attention.
For last Thursday’s game against the Kirtland Broncos, the Pirates took to their court with focus, with clear minds, with attention given to the game. It showed. The girls won the match in four sets: 25-12, 25-17, 22-25, and 25-14.
“We played really aggressive,” coach Connie O’Donnell said of the game. “We dropped a game, but we continued to play strong. I don’t feel like we lost focus.”
Passing, serving, communication — the girls were doing all of it and doing it well O’Donnell said.
“When we dropped the third game, we decided we’re not going to lose focus. We’re going to win,” O’Donnell said, adding, “The girls played awesome and they were really enjoying themselves.”
Senior Gabby Pajak led the offense with nine kills, with sophomore Payton Shahan following the captain’s lead, getting in seven kills.
Senior Megan Davey rocked the serves, scoring 16 points from the service line. Senior Angie Gallegos had 12 points on serves.
Gallegos had 18 serve receives; Pajak had 17 serve receives.
Gallegos had 25 digs, Pajak 15.
Davey had 11 assists. Junior Anissa Lucero had seven assists.
The next two matches, however, the Pirates did not keep their focus and did not win. The Pirates lost Saturday’s match against the Dolores Bears in four sets: 25-17, 24-26, 16-25, and 12-25.
The first two games, O’Donnell said the girls were in the game. There was a problem with serve receive in the first game. When they were down by eight, O’Donnell said they had a problem catching up.
In the second set, though, the girls went in strong, played strong, didn’t give up.
After that though, O’Donnell said, “we started a serious downhill slide.”
The court was quiet. The girls weren’t communicating. They started missing serves.
“We did not play well at all,” O’Donnell said, adding, “It was a really frustrating loss.”
The Pirates’ next match did not turn out any better.
In this Tuesday’s match against their old rivals, the Bayfield Wolverines, the Pirates lost in three sets: 9-25, 12-25, and 13-25.
“I know that the girls were disappointed with the loss, but they just were not mentally tough,” O’Donnell said.
O’Donnell said that the team entered into the game already intimidated. The Pirates’ best skills, serve and serve receive, did not show on the court.
“We had a good run in the third game because we started blocking, but we couldn’t follow through with serve receive. We basically got served off of the court,” O’Donnell said.
Tonight, the Pirates will have a chance to focus, to think, to pay attention and play the best volleyball they can against Monte Vista, at 6 p.m. in Monte Vista.
Then, Tuesday, Oct. 2, the Pirates will host Center at 6 p.m.