Luis Diaz/ Contributing Writer
Needless to say, a record of seven wins and 23 losses is not very good. In fact, it’s actually quite bad! The worst part about that record isn’t even what it means on the court; no, the worst part about a 7-23 season is waking up every day during the offseason knowing there is nothing you can do to erase that from people’s minds until August 28th.
The schedule is out and every woman on the volleyball team should have only one game circled to make a statement. August 28th, opening day, is the day for redemption, the day to wipe away their days of mediocrity and take their first step in the direction of their first winning season since 2011 when the Lady Panthers dominated the Sun Belt Conference going 20-10.
However, since entering the Conference USA it seems like the FIU Women’s Volleyball team has had their misfortune set on loop having endured 3 straight losing seasons. Recruiting class after recruiting class, coming and going, not making an impact. There is, though, an air of optimism in the locker room heading into this season. An air being inhaled by the returning seniors that made huge impacts on the team last year in terms of statistics, but this year have their sights set on that elusive “W” that they weren’t able to catch much last year.
The two leading scorers of last year’s Women’s Volleyball Team will don the Blue and Gold for the last time when this season comes to a close, and we can only hope that is during the C-USA Championships. Yes, Lucia Castro and Gloria Levorin can score, averaging 3.26 and 2.14 kills per set last year respectively. Lucia Castro, in fact, ranked in the top 10 in kills in the C-USA as a junior last year.
With a full year under their belts, what was once youth that set Castro and Levorin back, it is now experience that gives our FIU Women’s Volleyball team an advantage heading into this season. And with the new season’s schedule being released, there are 3 key dates for our Golden Panthers:
- August 28th: Opening day against the University of North Florida. A young team that only went 13-18 last season seems like a great way to prove that this this year’s FIU Women’s Volleyball Team is going to be a threat when they line up on the other side of the net. This is the day the Golden Panthers must start their season very strong.
- September 27th: West Kentucky University. Need I say more? This team bullied the rest of the C-USA last year going 15-1 on route to becoming Conference Champions. These Hilltoppers are aptly named. But this day, win or lose, will be a great measuring stick to see how far this team has grown. Plus, we might just be able to kick these women off their pedestal for the rest of the conference to see some Golden Panthers on top of the conference. Yes it’s seems difficult, but crazier things have happened in sports.
- November 20th: This is day 1 of the Conference USA championships. This is the most important day for our Women’s Volleyball team. I don’t care what colors are being worn on one side of the net, I just want to see Blue and Gold on the other.
Yes November 20th is the end goal but it all starts on August 28th. This is going to be a team that can go down one or two paths, the same path we’ve gone down the last three years ending with mediocrity and a long offseason or the path that Castro and Levorin have forged, the path head coach Rita Buck-Crockett has set out for her team, the path that leads to a new decoration for the FIU Women’s Volleyball Team’s trophy case.