The indoor volleyball team looks to create a winning culture under new head coach, Patrick Hiltz.
Despite many new faces, Hiltz remains confident in his team.
“We’ve got a fresh attitude coming in, combining with the players who know what’s going on,” Hiltz said. “When you combine those two things and you combine them well, that can be very, very strong for you.”
Although the squad has dropped the first four games, Hiltz has preached that establishing that culture is a process.
“Even champions lose. It’s keeping that loss from becoming a defeat that’s the challenge.”
Despite never appearing in the Sun Belt tournament, the team clearly has the mind set of a conference favorite.
“Our goal is to when to win the conference championship,” said Iren Marinova, a redshirt junior. “Once everything starts working smoothly, I believe this is really reachable.”This year’s team looks to improve on last year’s 5-18 record.Senior captain Blanca Ocana feels as if this will be done.
“I think we’re already better than last year… it just takes time to combine every piece of the puzzle and put it tosgether,” Ocana said.
Hiltz also spoke about using the sand volleyball program as a stepping-stone.
“The idea is that if we could find some success on the sand and get a little of that trickled over into the indoor and then that helps create that winning culture.”
The ULM sand volleyball shares many of the same players as the indoor team. Last year the team was invited to compete in the six-team AVCA national championship.
The indoor team looks to improve its non-conference record with games against University of Texas-Pan American, McNeese State, Southern Mississippi, Prairie View A&M, Alabama State, Cal Poly and Arizona State.
The Sun Belt portion of the schedule includes the three new members to the conference: Georgia State, Texas State, and the University of Texas-Arlington.
The team will also face the usual conference rivalries, such as Arkansas State , Western Kentucky, Troy and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
The culture change has seemed to have taken effect already, as Ocana summed it up, “I just want to win.”