With the defeat of Belmont Abbey on Oct. 13 in a five-set match, the Queens women’s volleyball team earned the top spot in Conference Carolinas. The Queens Chronicle met with Lettie Wilkes, head volleyball coach, to discuss the achievement.
Q: Your volleyball team is now No. 1 in the conference. How do you feel about this accomplishment?
A: This is an accomplishment from the start of the season that was a goal for Royals volleyball. I am very proud of the team in reaching No. 1 and we are continuing to push to maintain that number spot and work day in and day out on and off the court.
Q: What preparations do you feel contributed to achieving this ranking?
A: The preparations that I feel contributed to achieving this ranking is the discipline and expectations that Royals volleyball stands for. We push on the court and off the court and take no easy way out. The girls get after it in the weight room and, with conditioning which transpires to their overall play, they work diligent daily on the court within tough, intense practices.
Q: What improvements has the team made since the beginning of the season?
A: The team has made tremendous improvements from the beginning of the season as they have become more precise and aggressive with serving and improved on serve receive along with not allowing frustration to set in when momentum shifts occur within play.
Q: What strategies have you implemented, or plan to implement, that you think allowed you to rank so highly and will allow you to defend your position?
A: Continued daily strategies within our offensive systems and defensive structure that provides us with production and execution of our play. We continue to strive to maintain our expectations and go above and beyond those expectations, which is what Champions stand for!
Q: Is this a new experience? How long has it been since the team has ranked No. 1?
A: Coming off of last year’s season, the team was never in the first place position. This is the first time in a while in QU history that the team has held the No. 1 position as they had been in the second- and third-place positions within 1999 and 2000.
Q: Are there any star players you would like to specially commend?
A: Royals Volleyball is a team and without each and every one of them, we would not be where we are in the season in the position we are in. This is a great group of young ladies and student athletes who strive to be discipline and do what is best!
Q: What is your outlook for the rest of the season?
A: The outlook for the rest of the season is to continue to execute our plan and to work to make minor adjustments to make improvements daily to continue to strive to work for the conference championship, conference tournament championship and get the first ever in school history NCAA bid.
Q: Are there any other comments you’d like to make?
A: Royals Volleyball would like to thank all of their Queens Community for all of their continued support and attendance to our games this year off campus at Myers Park High School. Our Queens family makes the overall experience even better for the Royals Volleyball players as they know they have everyone behind them as we always have a packed crowd with us every night supporting and rooting us on! Thank you and we continue to look forward to seeing our fans at matches and keeping everyone in excitement with great volleyball!
Queens’ is currently 17-10 overall and 10-1 in the conference. The Royals will travel next match to play against Limestone College in Gaffney, S.C., on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 2 p.m.