After hearing head coach Carmen Hochevar talk about intangibles, several ingredients have come together helping her Concord Christian School Lady Lions volleyball team earn a fifth consecutive trip to the TSSAA state tournament.
“I am calm, and maybe it’s a confidence in my team that makes me that way,” Hochevar said after her powerful Lady Lions disposed of Franklin Road Academy in straight games 25-19, 25-15, 25-17 at CCS Friday evening, Oct. 18, to advance to the Division II-A “Final Four” state tourney in Murfreesboro this week.
“I think if they see me calm, they’re going to react calm,” she added. “One of our mottos this year is ‘Breathe, Believe and Battle.’”
Another key element involves diet. “We have all given up refined sugar for the season,” the coach said. “... “I think it’s making us sharp, it’s making us focused.”
If the Lady Lions (28-9) reached the state title match, it is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. EDT, 9 a.m. CDT, this morning (Thursday, Oct. 24), in Middle Tennessee State University’s Murphy Center.
“In practice we have been working on talking constantly during the game,” said sophomore Annabelle Sulish, star outside hitter and team captain.
“Our verbal communication on the floor and on the bench was great,” Hochevar said about the substate win. “... When we have fear and doubt come into play, we work through that. And it showed tonight.”
Individually, “We are led by our team captain, Annabelle Sulish,” she added.
Having reached the Division II-A state title match last season before falling in straight games to powerhouse Webb School of Knoxville, “Now we know what to expect and how to get to the championship,” said Mikayla Profeta, junior standout middle blocker. “All the losses we’ve had have made us better, and we’ve really improved.”
Profeta “just dominated tonight,” Hochevar said.
The team’s success is based on “team chemistry and how we work together,” said Emma Meyer, sophomore standout setter. “And we love playing together.”
“She is so consistent,” the coach said about Meyer.
Defensive specialist Karson Brock “was lights out with her passing,” Hochevar said.
“I’ve actually been to state every year since my eighth-grade year,” said Allie Tucker, one of only three seniors on this team.
“I really think that this is a team that can do it, win state.”