HELENA -- The Carroll College volleyball team might only be 5-5 through the first few weeks of the season, but the Saints are happy with the progress they've made through those 10 games. If you take a deeper look at the Fighting Saints' five losses, four of those matches went the distance to five sets and in those losses, the match was decided by three or fewer points.
The results, while not staggering, are a product of head coach Moe Boyle filtering players through the lineup to give players an opportunity to play different positions and see who fits best in her starting six when the regular season rolls around.
"It's something that we worked through, and to have that many girls on the court in different positions which we've had all of this preseason, I really believe it has benefited us. Although you take a loss sometimes in doing that, I think as the year goes on it's going to benefit us," said Boyle as her team warmed up behind her on Tuesday.
In regards to the early losses, Boyle didn't seem to mind.
"I know that that nobody wants to lose, but I would rather lose in five (sets) knowing that we had a chance to win than to not have a chance to win. So, it's exciting going forward to know that that's where we started," she said.
The preseason mash-up wasn't just a way for Boyle to sort out the depth chart, though. It also served a bonding session. Of those 10 games, only one was played at home and and in that span the Saints made trips to Great Falls, Butte, and Bellevue, Nebraska, which -- along with a revolving roster -- lent itself to forcing players to develop both on an off the court. One of the traits redshirt junior Madi Quick noted was trust.
"There were some of those games where we went in and we didn't know what was going to happen. We saw that we could get killed in some of our games, and we saw that we could do really well and succeed," said Quick. "I think that was just a matter of getting comfortable with each other and trusting each other and trusting ourselves and knowing that we can trust each other and that the person next to me trusts me; so that was a big thing for us that we've come across in the last couple of weeks, especially."
The Carroll College volleyball team will now get a chance to rest up before their its conference tilt on Sept. 19 when it hosts the Montana Western Bulldogs.