North Texas Daily

UNT volleyball chemistry helps team on the court

UNT volleyball chemistry helps team on the court

September 23
00:00 2013

Ehsan Azad/Staff Writer

One overlooked part of a successful team is the chemistry shared between players and coaches, exemplified by the 2013 Mean Green volleyball team, who believes that its chemistry is like no other’s.

UNT (7-8) has had an up-and-down season in its non-conference play, but the players are optimistic about their chances at competing more successfully once conference games begin on Friday. Much of the confidence is due to the chemistry on the team being higher than previous years and creating a better playing atmosphere.

“The difference between other teams and ours is our swagger,” freshman setter Amy Henard said.

The “swagger” is what Henard describes as the energy on the court between the players and how well they know each other’s game. The swagger – a term also used by the coaching staff – helps the players gain the confidence to play at a high level.

The team also stresses equality among its players, including Henard, the youngest player on the team. She was one of the two volleyball players to join the team this year, but has already assimilated to the new situation and plays a bulk of the minutes at her position.

“Our team doesn’t have a hierarchy,” junior outside hitter Hanna Forst said.  “We don’t make her do anything more than we would have anyone else on the team do.”

The team stands by an unsaid respect value and it is followed by everyone on the team. Forst says that players as old as senior outside hitter Courtney Windham and as new as Henard can criticize each other and still maintain that respect.

The other new addition to the team this year was junior outside hitter Chandler Hatton, a transfer from Florida Atlantic University who felt the connection with her new team almost immediately.

“They all accepted me within a week of being on the team,” Hatton said.

Hatton said she was excited to join the Mean Green and was happy that the team loved having her on the team as well.

“We are all very humble, loud and goofy people, so we all can get along with each other,” Hatton said.

Hatton, who didn’t play for the first 11 matches of the year, started several matches and saw significant time on the court over the weekend.

“There are times we can be on the court and know what we are thinking without talking,” Hatton said.

Preparing to play its first Conference USA games this weekend, the team will try to use its chemistry to its advantage.

The Mean Green return home Wednesday to test its chemistry in a final non-conference game against Stephen F. Austin University at 6 p.m.

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