By ELISE ADAMS
Head coach of the University of Mary Washington volleyball program Matt Troy came to UMW four years ago from John Hopkins University, where he was the head volleyball coach. Only four years in, he has already helped the women of the UMW volleyball team achieve great things and show their potential.
Coach Troy was gracious enough to answer a few questions during his team’s historically successful season, and during the interview I could clearly see the devotion and faith he has for his team, which is ranked 16th in the country.
Q: How do you feel about the accomplishments of the team this far into the season?
A: “I think it’s nice to see the players awarded for their hard work. It’s nice getting that recognition, but I think it’s also challenging because now we have to compete at that level day-in and day-out. Especially being such a young team.”
Q: What do you believe has led to the team being so successful this year?
A: “Well I think that our culture has established the groundwork to being successful. Also, talented athletes, the players and returnees- the entire makeup- has allowed us to be successful.”
Q: What do you believe has to happen this year to repeat that success?
A: “They need to continue to compete with the tough schedule. They talk a lot about having to win games that are “must wins” and giving themselves good chances against teams that seem elite, and the team has come together nicely and works well together. But if we win our conference, it’ll be much easier.”
Q: Besides a couple of girls graduating, what else changed since last year?
A: “Honestly the only thing that changed is front row hitters with the freshman class. Everything else is similar except they’re older. Emma Olson returned as our setter.” “When you lose seniors, you lose stability and calm leadership. As a coach, you can just tell [the seniors] to do something and they’ll do it, but with freshmen, they might not know what it is yet. But that doesn’t seem to have a big effect on the team, because the young players have learned a lot, quickly.”
Q: How has this group of freshman stepped up?
A: “I think they’ve brought in a lot of energy. The work ethic from last year- looking statistically- they’ve provided us a lot of support. They all stepped up in key roles at different times.”
Q: What are the current goals for moving forward this season?
A: “Taking each game one at a time and putting yourself in the home court for CAC tournament and then win CAC tournament.”
Q: Is there anything you would like from Eagle Nation?
A: “We have gotten great support from Eagle Nation, each year it’s getting bigger. Keep coming to home games with your support and continue being loud and excited.”
Q: What would you like from his team moving forward?
A: “Getting better every day, like when we enter the gym, we got to be and do our best and get better. We need to have the mindset of ‘We Will,’ win games.”
Q: Is there anything you would like to add?
A: “We appreciate all the support we have gotten from the university and students and we hope to continue to put on a good show for them.”
The University of Mary Washington women’s volleyball team and Coach Troy will be home and in action Friday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. and will have two straight home games following that, on Saturday, Oct. 8 and Wednesday, Oct. 12. Come out to cheer on the No. 16 ranked team in the nation as they begin conference play.