The gym was by far the loudest the Hilltoppers have experienced this season in a home match, and Marganski said the hyped environment might have aided in the Hilltoppers’ struggles.
“It’s just that thing where we haven’t had this kind of atmosphere in our gym in a while, so maybe that got to us a little,” Marganski said. “That shouldn’t be an excuse. That’s something we’re just going to have to deal with. Now that we’ve had a taste of it, maybe we can focus on being able to perform under pressure.”
While some teams might use the crowd to their advantage, that’s not entire the case for this year’s Hilltoppers. Returning everyone from last season except Ella Black, Schlarman Academy is learning to find success through its team chemistry and fundamentals rather than playing solely on emotion.
“That’s something that we’ve been focusing a lot on,” Marganski said. “We’re not a team that goes out there and gets hyped up and plays well. We’re a team that goes out there and is focused on a goal and plays clean volleyball.”
They hope to play a clean game tonight when they take on the Salt Fork Storm in a battle of two of the top teams in the Vermilion Valley Conference. A win would extend the Hilltoppers’ streak to nine matches, but at this point, they’re not keeping track.
“We’ve been going in just one game at a time, trying to improve ourselves and play a little smarter and be more aggressive,” Crane said. “That’s what we work on every single game. It’s something that we’re trying to push with the girls.”
Danville will also be back in action tonight visiting Urbana.